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Volume I. 

SWAN S () N Ni: \ S ( 1 1 i: I N cV c o. 






1. To Montagu, Maj' 2, 1736.— Marriage of the Princess of 

Wales — Very lively . . . . . .1 

2. To THE SAME, May 6, 1 736. — Fondness for Old Stories— Re- 

miniscences of Eton, etc. . . . , .2 

3. To THE SAME, March 20, 1737.— Wish to Travel— Superiority 

of French Manners to English in their manner to Ladies . 6 

4. To West, April 21, 1739.— Theatres at Paris— St. Denis- 

Fondness of the French for Show, and for Gambling — Singular 
Signs — The Army the only Profession for Men of Gentle 
Birth — Splendour of the Public Buildings . . .7 

5. To THE SAME, 1739.— Magnifi.cencc of Versailles— The Chartreux 

Relics . . . . . . . .11 

6. To THE SkWY., February 21 , 1740.— The Carnival— The Floren- 

tines Civil, Good-natured, and Fond of the English — A Curious 
Challenge . . . ... . . .14 

7. To the; ShWEy Jtine 14, 1740. — Herculaneum — Search should 

be made for other Submerged Cities — Quotations from Statius 17 

8. To Conway,//^/)' 5, 1740.— Danger of Malaria— Roman Catholic 

Relics— "Admiral Hosier's Ghost" — Contest for the Popedom 21 

9. To THE SAME, /z^/y 9, .1740 , . . . . .23 

10. To West, Oct. 2, 1740.— A Florentine Wedding— Addison's 

. Descriptions are Borrowed from Books — A Song of Bondel- 
monti's, with a Latin Version by Gray, and an English One 
by the Writer . . . . . . .26 

11. To Mann, /rt«. 22, 1742.— Debate on Pulteney's Motion for a 

Committee on Papers Relating to the War— Speeches of Pul- 
teney, Pitt, Sir R. Walpole, Sir W. George, etc.— Smallness 
of the Ministerial Majority . . . . .32 

12. To THE SAME, May 26, 1742.— Ranelagh Gardens Opened— 

Garrick, "A Wine-merchant turned Player" — Defeat of the 
Indemnity Bill . . . . . - . • 38 

13. To THE SAME, Dcc. 9, 1742.— Debate on Disbanding the Hano- 

verian Troops — First Speech of Murray (afterwards Earl of 
Mansfield) — Z-'c'/; JAV of Lord Chesterfield . . -43 



14. To THE SAME, Feb. 24, 1 743.— King Theodore— Handel Intro- 

duces Oratorios . . . . . "45 

15. To THE SAME, July 4, 1743. — Battle of Dettingen — Death of 

Lord Wilmington . . . . . .48 

16. To THE SAME, Sept. 7, 1743.— French Actors at Clifden — A new 

Roman Catholic Miracle — Lady Mary Wortley . 'Si 

17. To THE SAME, March 29, 1745. — Death of his Father — Matthews 

and 'Lestock in the Mediterranean — Thomson's " Tancred 
and Sigismunda" — Akenside's Odes — Conundrums in Fashion 54 
iS. To THE SAME,-i1/aj/ II, 1745.— Battle of Fontenoy— The Ballad 

of the Prince of Wales . . . . . .58 

19. To Montagu, August i, 1745. — M. De Grignan— Livy's Pata- 

vinity — The Marechal De Belleisle — Whiston Prophecies the 
Destruction of the World — The Duke of Newcastle . . 61 

20. To AL\NN, Sept. 6, 1745. — Invasion of Scotland by the Young 

Pretender — Forces are said to be Preparing in France to 
join him . . . . . . . .64 

21. To THE SAME, Sept. 20, 1 745. — This and the follmving Letters 

give a Lively Account of the Progress of the Rebellion till the 
Retreat from Derby, after which no particular interest attaches 
to it • . • . • . ■ 5 . . . , .66 

22. To THE SAME, .S"^//. 27, 1745.— Defeat of Cope . . .69 

23. To THE SAME, Oct. 21, 1745.— General Wade is Marching to 

Scotland — Violent Proclamation of the Pretender . . 72 

24. To THE SAME, Nov. 22, 1745.— Gallant Resistance of Carlisle— 

• Mr. Pitt attacks the Ministry ... .75 

25. To THE SAME, Dcc. 9, 1 745.— The Rebel Army has Retreated 

from Derby — Expectation of a French Invasion . . •]% 

26. To THE SAME, Apul 2$, 1746.— Battle of Culloden . , 82 

27. To THE SAME, Aug: I, 1746.— Trial of the Rebel Lords Bal- 

merino and Kilmarnock . . . . ,84 

28. To THE SAME, C>f/. 14, 1746.— The Battle of Rancoux . . 93 

29. To Conway, Oct. 24, 1746.— On Conway's Verses— No Scotch- 

/na/i is capable of such Delicacy of Thought, though a Scotch- 
woman may be— Akenside's, Armstrong's, and Glover's Poems 95 

30. To THE.SAME,/«//tf 8,.i747.-^He has bought Strawberry Hill . 98 

31. To THE SAME, Aug. 29, 1748.— His Mode of Life— Planting— . ■ 

Prophecies of New Methods and New Discoveries in a Future 
Generation . . . , , .101 



32. To Mann, May^^ I749- — Rejoicings for the Peace — Masquerade 

at Ranelagh — Meeting of the Prince's Party and the Jacobites 

— Prevalence of Drinking and Gambling — Whitefield . 105 

33. To THE SAME, March ir, 1750. — Earthquake in London — 

General Panic — Marriage of Casimir, King of Poland . 112 

34. To THE SAME, April 2, 1750.— General Panic— Sherlock's Pas- 

toral Letter — Predictions of more Earthquakes — A General 
Flight from London — Epigrams by Chute and Walpole him- 
self — French Translation of Milton . . . -US 

35. To THE SAME, April I, 1751.— Death of Walpole's Brother, and 

of the Prince of Wales — Speech of the young Prince — Singular 
Sermon on His Death ...... 121 

36. To THE SAME, June 18, 1751. — Changes in the Ministry and 

Household — The Miss Gunnings — Extravagance in London — 
Lord Harcourt, Governor of the Prince of Wales . . 125 

37. To THE SAME,/une 12, 1753. — Description of Strawberry Hill — 

Bill to Prevent Clandestine Marriages . . . 129 

38. To Montagu, Afay 19, 1756.— No News from France but what 

is Smuggled — The King's Delight at the Vote for the Hanover 
Troops — ^(7« iil/c*/ of Lord Denbigh .... 135 

39. To the SAME, Ocl. 17, 1756.— Victory of the King of Prussia at 

Lowositz — Singular Race — Quarrel of the Pretender with the 
Pope . ....... 136 

40. To the SAME, A'ozf. 4, 1756. — Ministerial Negotiations — Loss 

of Minorca — Disaster in North America . . . 140 

41. To THE Earl of Strafford, //^/j/ 4, 1757. — The King of 

Prussia's Victories — Voltaire's " Universal History " . . 144 

42. To Zouch, August 3, 1758.— His own "Royal and Noble 

Authors " ....... 147 

43. To THE SAME, Oct. 21, 1758.— His "Royal and Noble Authors" 

— Lord Clarendon — Sir R. Walpole and Lord Bolingbroke — 
The Duke of Leeds . . . . . • ^S^ 

44. To Mann, Oct. 24, 1758.— Walpole's Monument to Sir Horace's 

Brother — Attempted Assassination of the King of Portugal — 
Courtesy of the Due D'Aiguillon to his English Prisoners . 157 

45. To ZoucH, Dec. 9, 1758.— A New Edition of Lucan— Compari- 

son of "Pharsalea" — Criticism on the Poet, with the ./^neid — 
Helvetius's Work, "Dc L'Esprit" . . . .161 

46. To Conway,/^;;/. 19, 1759.— Stale of the House of Commons . 163 



47. To Dalrymple, Feb. 25, 1759.— Robertson's "History of Scot- 

land" — Comparison of Ramsay and Reynolds as Portrait- 
Painters — Sir David's " History of the Gowrie Conspiracy " . 165 

48. To THE SAME, Jiily II, 1 759. — Writers of History: Goodall, 

Hume, Robertson — Queen Christina .... 167 

49. To Conway, Aug. 14, 1759. — The Battle of Minden — Lord G. 

Sackville . . . . . . -170 

50. To Mann, Sepi. 13, 1759. — Admiral Boscawen's Victory — 

Defeat of the King of Prussia — Lord G. Sackville . . I73 

51. To Montagu, Oct. 21, 1759. — A Year of Triumphs . . 177 

52. To THE SAME, Nov. 8, 1759. — French Bankruptcy — French 

Epigram . . . . . . .178 

53. To THE SAME, /an. 7, 1760. — He lives amongst Royalty — Com- 

motions in Ireland ...... 182 

54. To THE s\ME,/an. 14, 1760. — Severity of the Weather — Scarcity 

in Germany — A Party at Prince Edward's — Charles Town- 
send's Comments on La Fontaine . . . .184 

55. To Mann, Fed. 28, 1760. — Capture of Carrickfergus . . 187 

56. To Dalrymple, April a,, 1760. — The Ballad of "Hardyknute" 

— Mr. Home's "Siege of Aquileia" — "Tristram Shandy" — 
Bishop Warburton's Praise of it . . . . 190 

57. To THE SkME, June 20, 1760. — Erse Poetry — "The Dialogues 

of the Dead"— "The Complete Angler" . . .195 

58. To Montagu, Sept. i, 1760.— Visits in the Midland Counties — 

W'hichnovre — Sheffield — The new Art of Plating — Chatsworth 
— Haddon Hall — Hardwickc — Apartments of Mary Queen of 
Scots — Newstead — Althorp ..... 197 

59. To THE SAME, Apri't i6, 1761. — Gentleman's Dress — Influence 

of Lord Bute — Ode by Lord Middlesex — G. Selvvyn's Quota- 
tion ........ 205 

60. To THE SAME, May 5, 1 76 1. — Capture of Bclleisle— Gray's 

Poems — Hogarth's Vanity ..... 207 

6r. To 'HIE SAME,////)/ 22, 1761.— Intended Marriage of the King — 

Battles in Germany — Capture of I'ondichcrry — Burke . 211 

62. To Mann, .Sept. 10, 1761.— Arrival of the Princess of Mecklen- 

burgh — The Royal Wedding — The Queen's Appearance and 
Behaviour . . . . . . .213 

63. To 'I HE Countess ok Aii.eshukv, S(pt. 27, 1761.— The Corona- 

tion and subsequent Gaieties . . . . .218 

64. To THE same, NiW. 28, 1761.— A Court Ball- Pamphlets on 

Mr. Pitt — A Song by Gray ..... 221 


65. To MANN,/a«. 29, 1762. — Death of the Czarina Elizabeth— The 

Cock-lane Ghost — Return to England of Lady Mary Wortley 224 

66. To ZoucH, March 20, 1762. — His own "Anecdotes of Painting" 

— His Picture of the Wedding of Henry VII. — Burnet's Com- 
parison of Tiberius and Charles II. — Addison's " Travels " . 229 

67. To Mann, Aug. 12, 1762. — Birth of the Prince of Wales— The 

Czarina — Voltaire's Historical Criticisms — Immense Value of 
the Treasures brought over in the Hcrmione . . .231 

68. To Conway, Sept. 9, 1762. — Negotiations for Peace — Christening 

of the Prince of Wales ...... 235 

69. To Mann, Oct 3, 1762. — Treasures from the Havannah — The 

Royal Visit to Eton — Death of Lady Mary — Concealment of 
Her Works — Voltaire's " Universal History " . . . 237 

70. To THE same, April 30, 1763. — Resignation of Lord Bute — 

French Visitors — Walpole and No. 45 . . . .241 

71. To Montagu, May 17, 1763. — A Party at " Straberri " — W^ork 

of his Printing Press — Epigrams — A Garden Party at Esher . 245 

72. To Conway, May i\, 1763. — General Character of the French 

— Festivities on the Queen's Birthday . . . .252 

Tl. To THE Earl of Hertford, Dec. 29, 1763. — The ordinary way 
of Life in England — Wilkes — C. Townshend — Count Lally — 
Lord Clive — Lord Northington — Louis Le Bien Aime — The 
Drama in France ...... 255 

74. To Montagu, /«;/. 11, 1764.— A New Year's Party at Lady 

Suffolk's — Lady Temple, Poetess Laureate to the Muses . 261 

75. To Mann, _/«/?. 18, 1764. — Marriage of the Prmce of Bruns- 

wick : His Popularity . . . . . . 268 

76. To THE Earl of Hertford, Feb. 6, 1764. — Gambling Quarrels 

— Mr. Conway's Speech ..... 270 

77. To THE SAME, Feb. 15, 1764.— Account of the Debate on the 

General Warrant . . . . . .274 

78. To Mann, /ime 8, 1764.— Lord Clive— Mr. Hamilton, Ambas- 

sador to Naples— Speech of Louis XV. . . . 2S1 

79 To THE same, Aug. 13, 1764. — The King of Poland— Catherine 

of Russia ........ 283 

So To THE Earl of Hertford, Oc^. 5, 1764.— Madame De 

Boufflers' Writings — King James's Journal . . . 2S5 


]. Horace Walpole ..... Frontispiece 
From an engraving after a sketch by Sir Tnos. Lawrenxe, P.R.A. 

II. Sir Horace Mann .... Facing paoe 32 

III. Strawberry Hill, from the Soutii-East Facing page 102 

IV. George Montagu .... Facing page 134 

V. The Library, Strawberry Hill . . Fadngpagc 218 

VI. Horace Walpole .... Facinq page 256 
From a picture in the National Portrait Gallery, by Nathaniel 
Hone, R.A. 


? T is creditable to our English nobility, 

and a feature in their character that 

/ distinguishes them from their fellows 

of most other nations, that, from the 
first revival of learning, the study 
of literature has been extensively 
cultivated by men of high birth, even by many 
who did not require literary fame to secure them a 
lasting remembrance ; and they have not contented 
themselves with showing their appreciation of intel- 
lectual excellence by their patronage of humbler 
scholars, but have themselves afforded examples to 
other labourers in the hive, taking upon themselves 
the toils, and earning no small nor undeserved share 
of the honours of authorship. The very earliest of 
our poets, Chaucer, must have been a man of gentle 
birth, since he was employed on embassies of impor- 
tance, and was married to the daughter of a French 
knight of distinction, and sister of the Duchess of 
Lancaster. The long civil wars of the fifteenth century 
prevented his having any immediate followers ; but 
the sixteenth opened more propitiously. The con- 
queror of Flodden was also " Surrey of the deathless 
lay" ; ' and from his time to the present day there is 

' " Lay of the Last Minstrel," vi. 14. 


hardly a break in the long line of authors who have 
shown their feeling that noble birth and high position 
are no excuses for idleness, but that the highest rank 
eains additional illustration when it is shown to be 
united with brilliant talents worthily exercised. The 
earliest of our tragic poets was Sackville Earl of Dorset. 
The preux chevalier of Elizabeth's Court, the accom- 
plished and high-minded Sidney, took up the lyre of 
Surrey : Lord St. Albans, more generally known by 
his family name of Bacon, " took all learning for his 
province " ; and, though peaceful studies were again for 
a while rudely interrupted by the " dark deeds of 
horrid war," the restoration of peace was, as it had 
been before, a signal for the resumption of their studies 
by many of the best-born of the land. Another Earl 
of Dorset displayed his hereditary talent not less 
than his martial gallantry. Lord Roscommon well 
deserved the praises which Dryden and Pope, after his 
death, liberally bestowed. The great Lord Chancellor 
Clarendon devoted his declining years to a work of a 
grander class, leaving us a History which will endure 
as long as the language itself ; while ladies of the very 
highest rank, the Duchess of Newcastle and Lady 
Mary Wortley Montague, vindicated the claims of their 
sex to share with their brethren the honours of poetical 

Among this noble and accomplished brotherhood 
the author of these letters is by general consent 
allowed to be entitled to no low place. Horace Wal- 
pole, born in the autumn of 1717, was the youngest 
son of that wise minister, Sir Robert Walpole, who, 


though, as Burke afterwards described him, " not a 
genius of the first class," yet by his adoption of, and 
resolute adherence to a policy of peace throughout 
the greater part of his administration, in which he was 
fortunately assisted by the concurrence of Fleury of 
France, contributed in no slight degree to the perma- 
nent establishment of the present dynasty on the 
throne. He received his education at the greatest of 
English schools, Eton, to which throughout his life he 
preserved a warm attachment ; and where he gave a 
strong indication of his preference for peaceful studies 
and his judicious appreciation of intellectual ability, 
by selecting as his most intimate friend Thomas Gray, 
hereafter to achieve a poetical immortality by the Bard 
and the Elegy. From Eton they both went to 
Cambridge, and, when they quitted the University, in 
1738, joined in a travelling tour through France and 
Italy, They continued companions for something 
more than two years ; but at the end of that time they 
separated, and in the spring of 1741 Gray returned to 
England. The cause of their parting was never 
distinctly avowed ; Walpole took the blame, if blame 
there was, on himself ; but, in fact, it probably lay in 
an innate difference of disposition, and consequently of 
object. Walpole being fond of society, and, from his 
position as the Minister's son, naturally courted by 
many of the chief men in the different cities which 
they visited ; while Gray was of a reserved character 
shunning the notice of strangers, and fixing his atten- 
tion on more serious subjects than Walpole found 


In the autumn of the same year Walpole himself 
returned home. He had become a member of Parlia- 
ment at the General Election in the summer, and took 
his seat just in time to bear a part in the fierce contest 
which terminated in the dissolution of his father's 
Ministry. His maiden speech, almost the only one he 
ever made, was in defence of the character and policy 
of his father, who was no longer in the House of 
Commons to defend himself.^ And the result of the 
conflict made no slight impression on his mind ; but 
gave a colour to all his political views. 

He began almost immediately to come forward as 
an author : not, however, as — 

Obliged by hunger and request of friends ; 

for in his circumstances he was independent, and even 
opulent ; but seeking to avenge his father by squibs on 
Mr. Pulteney (now Lord Bath), as having been the 
leader of the attacks on him, and on the new Ministry 
which had succeeded him. In one respect that age 
was a happy one for ministers and all connected 
with them. Pensions and preferments were distributed 
with a lavish hand ; and, even while he was a school- 
boy, he had received more than one " patent place," as 
such were called, in the Exchequer, to which before 
his father's resignation others were added, which after 
a time raised his income to above ^5,000 a year, a 
fortune which in those times was exceeded by com- 

' The speech was made March 23, 1742 ; but Sir Robert had resigned 
office, and been created Earl of Orford in the February preceding. 


paratively few, even of those regarded as wealthy. 
So rich, indeed, was he, that before he was thirty he 
was able to buy Strawberry Hill, " a small house near 
Twickenham," as he describes it at first, but which he 
gradually enlarged and embellished till it grew into 
something of a baronial castle on a small scale, some- 
what as, under the affectionate diligence of a greater 
man, Abbotsford in the present century became one of 
the lions of the Tweed. 

From this time forth literary composition, with the 
acquisition of antiques and curiosities for the decora- 
tion of " Strawberry " occupied the greater part of his 
life. He erected a printing press, publishing not only 
most of his own writings, but some also of other 
authors, such as poems of Gray, with whom he kept 
up uninterrupted intercourse. But, in fact, his 
own works were sufficiently numerous to keep his 
printers fully employed. He was among the most 
voluminous writers of a voluminous age. In the 
course of the next twenty years he published seven 
volumes of memoirs of the last ten years of the reign 
of Georoe H. and the first ten of Geor^je HI. ; five 
volumes of a work entitled " Royal and Noble 
Authors ; " several more of " Anecdotes of Painting ; " 
"The Mysterious Mother," a tragedy; "The Castle 
of Otranto," a romance ; and a small volume to which 
he gave the name of" Historic Doubts on Richard HI." 
Of all these not one is devoid of merit. He more than 
once explains that the " Memoirs " have no claim to 
the more respectable title of "History"; and he 
apologises for introducing anecdotes which might be 

VOL. I. 1 ''■ 


thought inconsistent with what Macaulay brands- as 
"a vile phrase," the dignity of history. He excuses 
this, which he looked on as a new feature in historical 
composition, on the ground that, if trifles, " they are 
trifles relating to considerable people ; such as all 
curious people have ever loved to read." *' Such 
trifles," he says, " are valued, if relating to any reign one 
hundred and fifty years ago; and, if his book should live 
so long, these too might become acceptable." Readers 
of the present day will not think such apology was 
needed. The value of his " trifles " has been proved 
in a much shorter time ; for there is no subsequent 
historian of that period who has not been indebted 
to him for many particulars of which no other 
trustworthy record existed, Walpole had in a great 
degree a historical mind ; and perhaps there are few 
works which show a keener critical insight into tlie 
value of old traditions than the " Historic Doubts," 
directed to establish, not, indeed, Richard's inno- 
cence of the crimes charged against him, but the fact 
that, with respect to many of them, his guilt has never 
been proved by any evidence wliich is not open to 
the gravest impeachment. His " Royal and Noble 
Authors," and his " Anecdotes of Painting" are full 
of entertainment, not unmixed with instruction. 
" The Mysterious Mother " was never performed on 
the stage, nor is it calculated for representation ; since 
he himself admits that the subject is disgusting. But 
dramas not intended for representation, and which there- 
fore should perhaps ]>e more fitly called dramatic poems, 
were a sp(;cies of composition to which more than one 


writer of reputation had lately begun to turn their 
i attention; though dramas not designed for the stage 
s icm to most readers defective in their very conception, 
as lacking the stimulus v/hich the intention of sub- 
mitting them to the extemporaneous ocular judgement 
of the public can alone impart. Among such works, 
however, "The Mysterious Mother" is admitted to rank 
high for vigorous description and poetic imagery. A 
rn-(^ater popularity, v/hich even at the present day has 
not wholly passed away, since it is still occasionally re- 
printed, was achieved by " The Castle of Otranto," 
which, as he explains it in one of his letters, owed its 
origin to a dream. Novels had been a branch of 
literature which had slumbered for several years after 
the death of Defoe, but which the orenius of Fielding 
and Smollett had again brought into fashion. But their 
tales purported to be pictures of the manners of the day. 
This was rather the forerunner of Mrs. Radcliffe's ^ 
weird tales of supernatural mystery, which for a time so 
engrossed the public attention as to lead that " wicked 
wag," Mr. George Coleman, to regard them as repre- 
sentatives of the class, and to describe how — 

A novel now is notliing more 

Than an old castle nnd a creaking door ; 

A distant hovel ; 
Clanking of chains, a gallery, a light, 
Old armour, and a phantom all in white, 

And there's a novel. 

■ " ' The Castle of Otranto ' was the father of that marvellous serie 
which once overstocked the circulating library, and closed with Mrs. 
Radcliffc."— D'Israeli, " Curiosities of Literature," ii. 115. 


He had published it anonymously as a tale that had 
been found in the library of an ancient family in the 
North of England ; but it was not indebted solely to 
the mystery of its authorship for its favourable recep- 
tion — since, after he acknowledged it as his own work 
in a second edition, the sale did not fall off. And it 
deserved success, for, though the day had passed when 
even the most credulous could place any faith in 
swords that required a hundred men to lift, and helmets 
which could only fit the champion whose single strength 
could wield such a weapon, the style was lively and 
attractive, and the dialogue was eminently dramatic 
and sparkling. 

But the interest of all these works has passed away. 
The " Memoirs" have served their turn as a guide and 
aid to more regular historians, and the composition 
which still keeps its author's fame alive is his Corre- 
spondence with some of his numerous friends, male and 
female, in England or abroad, which he maintained 
with an assiduity which showed how pleasurable he 
found the task, while the care with which he secured the 
preservation of his letters, begging his correspondents 
to retain them, in case at any future time he should 
desire their return, proves that he anticipated the 
possibility that they might hereafter be found interesting 
by other readers than to those to whom they were 

But he did not suffer either his writings or th(! 
enrichment of " Strawberry " with antiquarian trea- 
sures to engross the whole of his attention. For the 
first thirty years and more of his piil)lic life he was a 


zealous politician. And it is no slight proof how high 
was the reputation for sagacity and soundness of 
judgement which he enjoyed, that in the ministerial 
difficulties caused by Lord Chatham's illness, he was 
c<insulted by the leaders of more than one section of 
the Whig party, by Conway, the Duke of Bedford, the 
Duke of Grafton, Lord Holland, and others ; that his 
advice more than once influenced their determinations ; 
and that he himself drew more than one of the letters 
which passed between them. Even the King himself 
was not ignorant of the weight he had in their counsels, 
and, on one occasion at least, condescended to avail 
himself of it for a solution of some of the embarrass- 
ments with which their negotiations were beset. 

But after a time his attendance in Parliament, which 
had never been very regular, grew wearisome and 
distasteful to him. At the General Election of 1768 
he declined to offer himself again as a candidate ior 
Lynn, which he had represented for several years. 
And henceforth his mornings were chiefly occupied 
with literature ; the continuation of his Memoirs ; dis- 
cussion of literary subjects with Gibbon, Voltaire, 
Mason, and others, while his evenings were passed in 
the society of his friends, a mode of enjoying his time 
in which he was eminently calculated to shine, since 
abundant testimony has come down to us from many 
competent judges of the charm of his conversation ; 
the liveliness of his disposition acting as a most 
attractive frame to the extent and variety of his 

Among his distractions were his visits to I'rance, 


which for some time were frequent. He had formed 
a somewhat singular intimacy with a bHnd old lady, 
the Marquise du Deffand, a lady whose character in 
her youth had been something less than doubtful, since 
she had been one of the Regent Due d'Orleans's 
numerous mistresses ; but who had retained in her old 
age much of the worldly acuteness and lively wit with 
which she had borne her part in that clever, shameless 
society. Her salon was now the resort of many per- 
sonages of the highest distinction, even of ladies 
themselves of the most unstained reputation, such as 
the Duchesse de Choiseul ; and the rumours or 
opinions which he heard in their company enabled 
him to enrich his letters to his friends at home with 
comments on the conduct of the French Parliament, 
of Maupeon, Maurepas, Turgot, and the King himself, 
which, in many instances, attest the shrewdness with 
which he estimated the real bearing of the events 
which were taking place, and anticipated the possible 
character of some of those which were not unlikely to 

Thus, with a mind which, to the end, was so active 
and so happily constituted as to be able to take an 
interest in everything around him, and, even when 
more than seventy years old, to make new friends to 
replace those who had dropped off, he passed a long, a 
happy, and far from an useless life. When he was 
seventy-four he succeeded to his father's peerage, on 
the death of his elder brother ; but he did not long 
enjoy the title, by which, indeed, he was not very 
careful to be distinguished, and in the spring of 1 797 


he died, within a few months of his eightieth birth- 

A great writer of the last generation, whose studies 
were of a severer cast, and who, conscious perhaps of 
his own unfitness to shine at the tea-table of fashion- 
able ladies, was led by that feeling to undervalue the 
lighter social gifts which formed conspicuous ingre- 
dients in Walpole's character, has denounced him not 
only as frivolous in his tastes, but scarcely above 
mediocrity in his abilities (a sentence to which Scott's 
description of him as " a man of great genius " may 
be successfully opposed) ; and is especially severe on 
what he terms his affectation in disclaiming the com- 
pliments bestowed on his learning by some of his 
friends. The expressed estimate of his acquirements 
and works which so offended Lord Macaulay was that 
"there is nobody so superficial, that, except a little 
history, a little poetry, a little painting, and some 
divinity, he knew nothing ; he had always lived in the 
busy world ; had always loved pleasure ; played loo 
till two or three in the morning ; haunted auctions — in 
short, did not know so much astronomy as would 
carry him to Knightsbridge ; not more physic than 
a physician ; nor, in short, anything that is called 
science. If it were not that he laid up a little 
provision in summer, like the ant, he should be as 
ignorant as the people he lived with." ^ In Lord 
Macaulay 's view, Walpole was never less sincere than 
when pronouncing such a judgement on his works. 

LeUer to Mann, Feb. 6, 1760. 



He sees m it nothing but an affectation, fishing for 
further praises ; and, fastening on his account of his 
ordinary occupations, he pronounces that a man of 
fifty should be ashamed of playing loo till after mid- 

In spite, however, of Lord Macaulay's reproof, 
something may be said in favour of a man who, after 
giving his mornings to works which display no little 
industry as well as talent, unbent his bow in the 
evening at lively supper-parties, or even at the card- 
table with fair friends, v/here the play never degene- 
rated into gambling. And his disparagement of his 
learning, which Lord Macaulay ridicules as affectation, 
a more candid judgement may fairly ascribe to sincere 
modesty. For it is plain from many other passages in 
his letters, that he really did undervalue his own 
writings ; and that the feeling which he thus expressed 
was genuine is to a great extent proved by the patience, 
if not thankfulness, with which he allowed his friend 
Mann to alter passages in " The Mysterious Mother," 
and confessed the alterations to be improvements. It 
may be added that Lord Macaulay's disparagement 
of his judgement and his taste is not altogether con- 
sistent with his admission that Walpole's writings 
possessed an "irresistible charm" that "no man who 
has written so much is so seldom tiresome ; " that, 
even in " The Castle of Otranto," which he ridicules, 
" the story never flags for a moment," and, what is 
more Kj our present purpose, he adds that *' his letters 
are with reason considered his best performance;" and 
that those to his friend at Florence, Sir H. Mann, 


" contain much information concerning the history of 
that time : the portion of English History of which 
common readers know the least." 

Of these letters it remains for us now to speak. The 
value of such, pour servir, to borrow a French expres- 
sion, that is to say, to serve as materials to supply the 
historian of a nation or an age with an acquaintance 
with events, or persons, or manners, which would be 
sought for in vain among Parliamentary records, or 
ministerial despatches, has long been recognised.^ 
Two thousand years ago, those of the greatest of 
l^oman orators and statesmen were carefully pre- 
served ; and modern editors do not fear to claim for 
them a place "among the most valuable of all the 
remains of Roman literature ; the specimens which 
they give of familiar intercourse, and of the public and 
private manners of society, drawing up for us the 
curtain from scenes of immense historical interest, and 
laying open the secret workings, the complications, 
and schemes of a great revolution period." - Such a 
description is singularly applicable to the letters of 
Walpole ; and the care which he took for their preser- 
vation shows that he was not without a hope that they 
also would be regarded as interesting and valuable by 

' D'Israeli has remarked that " the gossifini^ of a profound politician, 
or a vivacious observer, in one of their letters, often by a spontaneous 
stroke reveals the individual, or by a simple incident unriddles a mys- 
terious event ; " and proceeds to quote Bolingbroke's estimate of the 
importance, from this point of view, of " that valuable collection of 
Cardinal d'Ossat's Memoirs " ("Curiosities of Literature," iii. p. 381). 

' The Rev. J. E. Yonge, Preface to an edition of" Cicero's Letters." 


future generations. He praises one of his correspon- 
dents for his dihgence in collecting and publishing a 
volume of letters belonging to the reigns of James I. 
and Charles I., on the express ground that " nothing 
gives so just an idea of an age as genuine letters ; nay, 
history waits for its last seal from them." And it is 
not too much to say that they are superior to journals 
and diaries as a mine to be worked by the judicious 
historian ; while to the general public they will always 
be more attractive, from the scope they afford to 
elegance of style, at which the diary-keeper does not 
aim ; and likewise from their frequently recording 
curious incidents, fashions, good sayings, and other 
things which, from their apparently trifling character, 
the grave diarist would not think v/orth preserving. 

He, however, was not the first among the moderns 
to achieve a reputation by his correspondence. In the 
generation before his birth, a French lady, Madame de 
Sevigne, had, with an affectionate industry, found her 
chief occupation and pleasure in keeping her daughters 
in the provinces fully acquainted with every event 
which interested or entertained Louis XIV. and his 
obsequious Court ; and in the first years of the eigh- 
teenth century a noble English lady, whom we have 
already mentioned, did in like manner devote no small 
portion of her time to recording, for the amusement 
and information of her daughter, her sister, and her 
other friends at home, the various scenes and occur- 
rences that came under her own notice in tlie foreign 
countries in which for many years her lot was cast, as 
the wife of an ambassador. In liveliness of style, 


Lady Mary Montague is little if at all inferior to her 
French prototype ; while, since she was endowed with 
far more brilliant talents, and, from her foreign travels, 
had a wider range of observation, her letters have a 
far greater interest than could attach to those of a 
writer, however accomplished and sagacious, whose 
world was Paris, with bounds scarcely extending 
beyond Versailles on one side, and Compiegne on 
the other. To these fair and lively ladies Walpole 
was now to succeed as a third candidate for epistolary 
fame; though, with his habit of underrating his own 
talents, he never aspired to equal the gay French- 
woman ; (the English lady's correspondence was as yet 
unknown). There is evident sincerity in his reproof 
of one of his correspondents who had expressed a 
most flattering opinion : " You say such extravagant 
things of my letters, which are nothing but gossiping 
gazettes, that I cannot bear it ; you have undone 
yourself with me, for you compare them to Madame 
de Sevigne's. Absolute treason ! Do you know there 
is scarcely a book in the world I love so much as her 
letters ? " 

Yet critics who should place him on an equality with 
her would not be without plausible grounds for their 
judgement. Many circumstances contributed to qualify 
him in a very special degree for the task which, looking 
at his letters in that light, he may be said to have 
undertaken. His birth, as the son of a great minister ; 
his comparative opulence ; even the indolent insignifi- 
cance of his elder brothers, which caused him to be 
looked upon as his father's representative, and as such 


to be consulted by those who considered themselves as 
the heirs of his policy, while the leader of that party 
in the House of Commons, General Conway, was his 
cousin, and the man for Vv^hom he ever felt the strongest 
personal attachment, — were all advantages which fell to 
the lot of but few. And to these may be added the 
variety of his tastes, as attested by the variety of his 
published works. He was a man who observed every- 
thing, who took an interest in everything. His corre- 
spondents, too, were so various and different as to 
ensure a variety in his letters. Some were politicians, 
ministers at home, or envoys abroad; some were female 
leaders of fashion, planning balls and masquerades, 
summoning him to join an expedition to Ranelagh or 
Vauxhall ; others were scholars, poets, or criucs, in- 
viting comments on Gray's poems, on Robertson's 
style, on Gibbon's boundless learning ; or on the 
impostures of Macpherson and Chatterton ; others, 
again, were antiquarians, to whom the helmet of 
Francis, or a pouncet-box of the fair Diana, were 
objects of far greater interest than the intrigues of a 
Secretary of State, or the expedients of a Chancellor 
of the Exchequer ; and all such subjects are discussed 
l)y him with evidently equal willingness, equal clear- 
ness, and liveliness. 

It would not be fair to regard as a deduction from 
the value of those letters which bear on the politics of 
the day the necessity of confessing that they are not 
devoid of partiality — that they are coloured with his 
own views, both of measures and persons. Not only 
were pohtical jjrejudices forced upon him by the pecu- 


liarities of his position, but it may be doubted whether 
any one ever has written, or can write, of transactions 
of national importance which are passing under his 
own eyes, as it were, with absolute impartiality. It 
may even be a question whether, if any one did so, it 
would not detract from his own character, at least as 
much as it mio-ht add to the value of his writino-s. In 
one of his letters, Byron enumerates among the merits 
of Mitford's" History of Greece," "wrath and partiality," 
explaining that such ingredients make a man write " in 
earnest." And, in Walpole's case, the dislike which 
he naturally felt towards those who had overthrown 
his father's administration by what, at a later day, 
they themselves admitted to have been a factious and 
blamable opposition, was sharpened by his friendship 
for his cousin Conway. At the same time we may 
remark in passing that his opinions and prejudices 
were not so invincible as to blind him to real eenius 
and eminent public services ; and the admirers of Lord 
Chatham may fairly draw an argument in favour of his 
policy from Walpole's admission of its value in raising 
the spirit of the people ; an admission which, it may 
be supposed, it must have gone against his grain to 
make in favour of a follower of Pulteney. 

But from his letters on other topics, on literature 
and art, no such deduction has to be made. His 
judgement was generally sound and discriminating. 
He could appreciate the vast learning and stately 
grandiloquence of Gibbon, and the widely different 
style of Robertson. Nor is it greatly to his discredit 
that his distrust at what he considers Hume's needless 


parade of scepticism and infidelity, which did honour 
to his heart, blinded him in a great degree to the 
historian's unsurpassed acuteness and insight, and (to 
borrow the eulogy of Gibbon) " the careless inimitable 
felicities" of his narrative. He was among the first to 
recognize the peculiar genius of Crabbe, and to detect 
the impostures of Macpherson and Chatterton, while 
doing full justice to " the astonishing prematurity " of 
the latter's genius. And in matters of art, so inde- 
pendent as well as correct was his taste, that he not 
only, in one instance, ventured to differ from Reynolds, 
but also proved to be right in his opinion that a work 
extolled by Sir Joshua, was but a copy, and a poor 

On his qualifications to be a painter of the way 
of life, habits, and manners [qtwrum pars magna fuiC) 
of the higher classes in his day, it v/ould be super- 
fluous to dwell. Scott, who was by no means a warm 
admirer of his character, does not hesitate to pronounce 
him " certainly the best letter-writer in the English 
language ; " and the great poet who, next to Scott, 
holds the highest place in the literary history of the 
last two centuries, adds his testimony not only to the 
excellence of his letters, but also to his general ability 
as that of a high order. " It is the fashion to under- 
rate Horace Walpole, firstly, because he was a noble- 
man, and, secondly, because he was a gentleman ; but, 
to say nothing of the composition of his incomparable 
letters and of ' The Castle of Otranto,' he is the 
' Ultimus Romanorum,' the author of * The Mysterious 
Mother,' a tragedy of the highest order, and not a 


puling love-play. He is the father of the first 
romance, and the last tragedy in our language ; and 
surely worthy of a higher place than any living writer, 
be he who he may." ' 

And it seems not unnatural to entertain a hope 
that a selection from a correspondence which extorted 
such an eulogy from men whose own letters form no 
small part of the attraction of Lockhart's and Moore's 
biographies, will be acceptable to many who, while 
lacking courage, or perhaps leisure, to grapple with 
publications in many volumes, may welcome the 
opportunity thus here afforded them of forming an 
acquaintance, however partial, with works which, in 
their entire body, are deservedly reckoned among the 
masterpieces of our literature. - 

' Byron, Preface to " Marino Faliere." But in the last sentence the 
poet certainly exaggerated his admiration for Walpole ; since it is suffi- 
ciently notorious from his own letters, and from more than one passage 
in his works, as where he ranks Scott as second to Shakespeare alone, 
that he deservedly admired him more than all their contemporaries put 

- It may be proper to point out that, in some few instances, a letter is 
not given in its entirety ; but, as in familiar correspondence, it must con- 
stantly happen that, while the incidents mentioned in one portion of a 
letter are full of interest, of others — such as marriages, deaths, &c. — the 
importance is of the most temporary and transitory character. It may be 
hoped that the liberty taken of leaving out such portions will be regarded 
as, if not commendable, at the least excusable. 







To George Montagu, Esq.- 

King's College, May 2, 1736. 

Dear Sir, — Unless I were to be married myself, I 
should despair ever being able to describe a wedding 
so well as you have done : had I known your talent 
before, I would have desired an epithalamium. I 

' This letter, written before he was nineteen, is worth noticing as a 
proof how innate was his Hveliness of style, since in that respect few 
of the productions of his maturer age surpasses it. It also shows how 
strong already was his expectations that his letters would hereafter be 
regarded as interesting and valuable. 

" George Montagu, Esq., of Roel, in the county of Gloucester, son of 
llrigadier-General Edward Montagu, and long M.P. for Northampton. 
He was the grandnephew of the first Earl of Halifax of the Montagu 
family, the statesman and poet, and was the contemporary at Eton of 
Walpole and Gray. When his cousin, the Earl of Halifax, was Lord- 
Lieutenant of Ireland, he was his secretary ; and when Lord North was 
(.hancellor of the Exchequer, he occupied the same position with him. He 

VOL. I. 2 


believe the Princess ^ will have more beauties bestowed 
on her by the occasional .poets, than even a painter 
would afford her. They will cook up a new Pandora, 
and in the bottom of the box enclose Hope, that all 
they have said is true. A great many, out of excess 
of good breeding, having heard it was rude to talk 
Latin before women, propose complimenting her \n 
English ; which she will be much the better for. I 
doubt most of them, instead of fearing their com- 
positions should not be understood, should fear they 
should : they write they don't know what, to be read 
by they don't know who. You have made me a 
very unreasonable request, which I will answer with 
another as extraordinary : you desire I would burn 
your letters : I desire you would keep mine. I know 
but of one way of making what I send you useful, 

died May lo, 1 780, leaving the bulk of his fortune to Lord North. Walpole's 
letters to him, 272 in number, and dating between 1736 and 1770, were 
first published in 1818, "from the Originals in the possession of the 
Editor." There was a coolness between Walpole and Montagu several 
years before the latter's death, the correspondence dropping very 
abruptly. The cause is explained by Walpole in a letter to Cole, dated 
May II, 17S0. Mr. Montagu's brother, Edward, was killed at 
Fontenoy. His sister, Arabella, was married to a Mr. Wetenhall — a 
relation of the Wetenhall mentioned in De Grammont. " Of Mr. 
Montagu, it is only remembered that he was a gentleman-like body of 
the vicillc coiir, and that he was usually attended by his brother John 
(the Little John of Walpole's correspondence), who was a midshipman at 
the age of sixty, and found his chief occupation in carrying about his 
brother's snuff-box" {Quarterly Rev. for April, 1818, p. 131). 

' Augusta, younger daughter of Frederic IL, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, 
married (27lh April, 1736) to Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of 
(icorge in. 

In 1736, I wrote a copy of Latin verses, published in the " Gratulatio 
Acad. Cantab.," on the marriage of Frederick, Prince of Wales. — Walpole 
{Short Notes). 


which is, by sending you a blank sheet : sure you 
would not grudge threepence for a halfpenny sheet, 
when you give as much for one not worth a farthing. 
You drew this last paragraph on you by your exordium, 
as you call it, and conclusion. I hope, for the future, 
our correspondence will run a little more glibly, with 
dear George, and dear Harry [Conway] ; not as 
formally as if we were playing a game at chess in 
Spain and Portugal ; and Don Horatio was to have 
the honour of specifying to Don Georgio, by an 
epistle, whither he would move. In one point I 
would have our correspondence like a game at chess ; 
it should last all our lives — but I hear you cry check ; 
adieu ! 

Dear George, yours ever. 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

King's College, May 6, i Ji6. 

Dear George, — I agree with you entirely in the 
pleasure you take in talking over old stories, but can't 
say but I meet every day with new circumstances, 
which will be still more pleasure to me to recollect. I 
think at our age 'tis excess of joy, to think, while we 
are running over past happinesses, that it is still in our 


power to enjoy as great. Narrations of the greatest 
actions of other people are tedious In comparison of 
the serious trifles that every man can call to mind of 
himself while he was learning those histories. Youth- 
ful passages of life are the chlpplngs of Pitt's diamond, 
set into little heart-rings with mottoes ; the stone Itself 
more worth, the filings more gentle and agreeable. — 
Alexander, at the head of the world, never tasted the 
true pleasure that boys of his own age have enjoyed 
at the head of a school. Little intrigues, little 
schemes, and policies engage their thoughts ; and, at 
the same time that they are laying the foundation for 
their middle age of life, the mimic republic they live 
in furnishes materials of conversation for their latter 
age ; and old men cannot be said to be children a 
second time with greater truth from any one cause, 
than their living over again their childhood in imagina- 
tion. To reflect on the season when first they felt 
the titlllation of love, the budding passions, and the 
first dear object of their wishes ! how unexperienced 
they gave credit to all the tales of romantic loves ! 
Dear George, were not the playing fields at Eton 
food for all manner of flights ? No old maid's gown, 
though it had been tormented Into all the fashions 
from King James to King George, ever underwent so j 
many transformations as those poor plains have in my 
idea. At first I was contented with tending a visionary 
flock, and sighing some pastoral name to the echo of 
the cascade under the bridge. How happy should I 
have been to have had a kingdom only for the plea- 
sure of being driven from it, and living disguised in an 



humble vale ! As I got further Into Virgil and Clelia, 
I found myself transported from Arcadia to the garden 
of Italy ; and saw Windsor Castle in no other view 
than the Capitoli immobile saxnm. I wish a com- 
mittee of the House of Commons may ever seem to 
be the senate ; or a bill appear half so agreeable as a 
billet-doux. You see how deep you have carried me 
into old stories ; I write of them with pleasure, but 
shall talk of them with more to you. I can't say I am 
sorry I was never quite a schoolboy : an expedition 
against bargemen, or a match at cricket, may be very 
pretty things to recollect ; but, thank my stars, I can 
remember things that are very near as pretty. The 
beginning of my Roman history was spent in the 
asylum, or conversing in Egeria's hallowed grove ; 
not in thumping and pummelling king Amulius's 
herdsmen. I was sometimes troubled with a rough 
creature or two from the plough ; one, that one should 
have thought, had worked with his head, as well as 
his hands, they were both so callous. One of the 
most aofreeable circumstances I can recollect is the 
Triumvirate, composed of yourself, Charles, and 

Your sincere friend. 



To George Montagu, Esq. 

King's College, March 20, 1737. 

Dear George, — The first paragraph in my letter 
must be in answer to the last in yours ; though I 
should be glad to make you the return you ask, by 
waiting on you myself. 'Tis not in my power, from 
more circumstances than one, which are needless to 
tell you, to accompany you and Lord Conway to Italy: 
you add to the pleasure it would give me, by asking it 
so kindly. You I am infinitely obliged to, as I was 
capable, my dear George, of making you forget for a 
minute that you don't propose stirring from the dear 
place you are now in. Poppies indeed are the chief 
flowers in love nosegays, but they seldom bend 
towards the lady ; at least not till the other flowers 
have been gathered. Prince Volscius's boots were 
made of love-leather, and h0nour leather ; instead of 
honour, some people's are made of friendship : but 
since you have been so good to me as to draw on this, 
I can almost believe you are equipped for travelling 
farther than Rheims. 'Tis no little inducement to 
make me wish myself in France, that I hear gallantry 
is not left off there ; that you may be polite, and not 
be thought awkward for it. You know the pretty 
men of the age in England use the women with no 
more deference than tliey do tlieir coach-horses, and 
have not half the regard for them that they have for 


themselves. The little freedoms you tell me you use 
take off from formality, by avoiding which ridiculous 
extreme we are dwindled into the other barbarous 
one, rusticity. If you had been at Paris, I should have 
inquired about the new Spanish ambassadress, who, 
by the accounts we have thence, at her first audience 
of the queen, sat down with her at a distance that 
suited respect and conversation. 

Adieu, dear George, 

Yours most heartily. 


To Richard West, Esq. 

Paris, April 21, N.S. 1739.' 

Dear West, — You figure us in a set of pleasures, 
which, believe me, we do not find ; cards and eating 
are so universal, that they absorb all variation of 
pleasures. The operas, indeed, are much frequented 
three times a week; but to me they would be a greater 
penance than eating maigre : their music resembles 
a gooseberry tart as much as it does harmony. We 

' He is here dating according to the French custom. In England 
the calendar was not rectific.l by the disuse of the " Old Style " till 


have not yet been at the Itahan playhouse ; scarce 
any one goes there. Their best amusement, and 
which, in some parts, beats ours, is the comedy ; 
three or four of the actors excel any we have : but 
then to this nobody goes, if it is not one of the 
fashionable nights ; and then they go, be the play 
good or bad — except on Moliere's nights, whose 
pieces they are quite weary of. Gray and I have 
been at the Avare to-night : I cannot at all commend 
their performance of it. Last night I was in the 
Place de Louis le Grand (a regular octagon, uniform, 
and the houses handsome, though not so large as 
Golden Square), to see what they reckoned one of the 
finest burials that ever was in France. It was the 
Duke de Tresmes, governor of Paris and marshal of 
France. It began on foot from his palace to his 
parish-church, and from thence in coaches to the 
opposite end of Paris, to be interred in the church of 
the Celestins, where is his family-vault. About a 
week ago we happened to see the grave digging, as 
we went to see the church, which is old and small, but 
fuller of fine ancient monuments than any, except St. 
Denis, which we saw on the road, and excels West- 
minster ; for the windows are all painted in mosaic, 
and the tombs as fresh and well preserved as if they 
were of yesterday. In the Celestins' church is a 
votive column to PVancis II., which says, that it is one 
assurance of his being immortalized, to have had the 
martyr Mary Stuart for liis wife. After this long 
digression, I return to the burial, which was a most 
vile thing. A long procession of flambeaux and 


friars ; no plumes, trophies, banners, led horses, 
scutcheons, or open chariots ; nothing but 

White, black, and grey, with all their trumpery. 

This godly ceremony began at nine at night, and did 
not finish till three this morning ; for, each church they 
passed, they stopped for a hymn and holy water. By 
the bye, some of these choice monks, who watched 
the body while it lay in state, fell asleep one night, 
and let the tapers catch fire of the rich velvet mantle 
lined with ermine and powdered with gold flower-de- 
luces, which melted the lead coffin, and burnt off the 
feet of the deceased before it wakened them. The 
French love show ; but there is a meanness reigns 
through it all. At the house where I stood to see 
this procession, the room was hung with crimson 
damask and Sfold, and the windows were mended in 
ten or a dozen places with paper. At dinner they 
give you three courses ; but a third of the dishes 
/ is patched up with salads, butter, puff-paste, or some 
such miscarriage of a dish. None, but Germans, wear 
fine clothes ; but their coaches are tawdry enough for 
the wedding of Cupid and Psyche. You would laugh 
extremely at their signs : some live at the Y grec, 
some at Venus's toilette, and some at the sucking cat. 
You would not easily guess their notions of honour : 
I'll tell you one: it is very dishonourable for any 
gentleman not to be in the army, or in the king's 
service as they call it, and it is no dishonour to keep 
public gaming-houses : there are at least a hundred 


and fifty people of the first quality in Paris who live by it. 
You may go into their houses at all hours of the night, 
and find hazard, pharaoh, &c. The men who keep 
the hazard-table at the Duke de Gesvres' pay him 
twelve guineas each night for the privilege. Even 
the princesses of the blood are dirty enough to have 
shares in the banks kept at their houses. We have 
seen two or three of them ; but they are not young, 
nor remarkable but for wearing their red of a deeper 
dye than other women, though all use it extravagantly. 
The weather is still so bad, that we have not made 
any excursions to see Versailles and the environs, not 
even walked in the Tuileries ; but we have seen almost 
everything else that is worth seeing in Paris, though 
that is very considerable. They beat us vastly in 
buildings, both in number and magnificence. The 
tombs of Richelieu and Mazarin at the Sorbonne and 
the College de Quatre Nations are wonderfully fine, 
especially the former. We have seen very little of 
the people themselves, who are not inclined to be pro- 
pitious to strangers, especially if they do not play and 
speak the language readily. There are many English 
here : Lord Holderness, Conway and Clinton, and 
Lord George Bentinck ; Mr. Brand, Offley, Frederic, 
Frampton, Bonfoy, &c. Sir John Cotton's son and a 
Mr. Vernon of Cambridge passed through Paris last 
week. We shall stay here about a fortnight longer, 
and then go to Rheims with Mr. Conway for two or 
three months. When you have nothing else to do, we 
shall be glad to hear from you ; and any news. If we 
did not remember there was such a place as England, 


we should know nothing of it : the French never 
mention it, unless it happens to be in one of their 
proverbs. Adieu ! 

Yours ever. 

To-morrow we go to the Cid. They have no farces, 
huX. pctites pieces like our * Devil to Pay.' 



To Richard West, Esq. 

From Paris, 1739. 

Dear West, — I should think myself to blame not 
to try to divert you, when you tell me I can. From 
the air of your letter you seem to want amusement, 
that is, you want spirits. I would recommend to you 
certain little employments that I know of, and that 
belong to you, but that I imagine bodily exercise is 
more suitable to your complaint. If you would 
promise me to read them in the Temple garden, I 
would send you a little packet of plays and pamphlets 
that we have made up, and intend to dispatch to 
" Dick's"^ the first opportunity. — Stand by, clear the 
way, make room for the pompous appearance of 

Versailles le Grand ! But no : it fell so short of my 

idea of it, mine, that I have resigned to Gray the office 
of writing its panegyric. He likes it. They say I 

' A celebrated coffee-house, near the Temple Gate in Fleet Street, 
where quarto poems and pamphlets were taken in. 


am to like it better next Sunday ; when the sun is to 
shine, the king is to be fine, the water-works are to 
play, and the new knights of the Holy Ghost are to be 
installed ! Ever since Wednesday, the day we were 
there, we have done nothing but dispute about it. 
They say, we did not see it to advantage, that we ran 
through the apartments, saw the garden en passant, and 
slubbered over Trianon. I say, we saw nothing. 
However, we had time to see that the great front is 
a lumber of littleness, composed of black brick, stuck 
full of bad old busts, and fringed with gold rails. The 
rooms are all small, except the great gallery, which is 
noble, but totally wainscoted with looking-glass. The 
garden is littered with statues and fountains, each of 
which has its tutelary deity. In particular, the elemen- 
tary god of fire solaces himself in one. In another, 
Enceladus, in lieu of a mountain, is overwhelmed with 
many waters. There are avenues of water-pots, who 
disport themselves much in squirting up cascadelins. 
In short, 'tis a garden for a great child. Such was 
Louis Ouatorze, who is here seen in his proper colours, 
where he commanded in person, unassisted by his 
armies and generals, and left to the pursuit of his own 
'^ puerile ideas of glory. 

We saw last week a place of another kind, and 
which has more the air of what it would be, than 
anything I have yet met with : it was the convent of 
the Chartreux. All the conveniences, or rather (if 
there was such a word) all the adaptments are 
assembled here, that melancholy, meditation, selfish 
devotion, and despair would recjuire. But yet 'tis 


pleasing. Soften the terms, and mellow the uncouth 
horror that reigns here, but a little, and 'tis a charming 
solitude. It stands on a large space of ground, is old 
and irregular. The chapel is gloomy : behind it, 
through some dark passages, you pass into a large 
obscure hall, which looks like a combination-chamber 
for some hellish council. The large cloister surrounds 
their burying-ground. The cloisters are very narrow 
and very long, and let into the cells, which are built 
like little huts detached from each other. We were 
carried into one, where lived a middle-aged man not 
long initiated into the order. He was extremely civil, 
and called himself Dom Victor. We have promised 
to visit him often. Their habit is all white : but 
besides this he was infinitely clean in his person ; and 
his apartment and garden, which he keeps and culti- 
vates without any assistance, was neat to a degree. 
He has four little rooms, furnished in the prettiest 
manner, and hung with good prints. One of them is 
a library, and another a gallery. He has several 
canary-birds disposed in a pretty manner in breeding- 
cages. In his garden was a bed of good tulips in 
bloom, flowers and fruit-trees, and all neatly kept. 
They are permitted at certain hours to talk to strangers, 
but never to one another, or to go out of their convent. 
But what we chiefly went to see was the small cloister, 
with the history of St. Bruno, their founder, painted 
by Le Saur. It consists of twenty-two pictures, the 
figures a good deal less than life. But sure they are 
amazing ! I don't know what Raphael may be in 
Rome, but these pictures excel all I have seen in Paris 


and England. The figure of the dead man who spoke 
at his burial, contains all the strongest and horridest 
ideas, of ghastliness, hypocrisy discovered, and the 
height of damnation, pain and cursing. A Benedictine 
monk, who was there at the same time, said to me of 
this picture : Cest une fable, mais 07t la croyoit autrefois. 
Another, who showed me relics in one of their churches, 
expressed as much ridicule for them. The pictures I 
have been speaking of are ill preserved, and some of 
the finest heads defaced, which was done at first by a 
rival of Le Soeur's. Adieu ! dear West, take care of 
your health ; and some time or other we will talk over 
all these things with more pleasure than I have had in f 
seeing them. 

Yours ever. 


To Richard West, Esq. 

Florence, February 27, 1740, N.S. 

Well, West, I have found a little unmasqued 
moment to write to you ; but for this week past I have 
been so muffled up in my domino, that I have not had 
the command of my elbows. But what have you been 
doing all the mornings ? Could you not write then ? — 
No, tlien I was masqued too ; I have done nothing 
but slip out of my domino into bed, and out of bed 
into my domino. The end of the Carnival is frantic, 


bacchanalian ; all the morn one makes parties in 
masque to the shops and coffee-houses, and all the 
evening to the operas and balls. T/ien I have danced, 
good gods I kotu have I danced I The Italians are fond 
to a degree of our country dances : Cold aiid raw they 
only know by the tune ; Blowzy bella is almost Italian, 
and B2ittered peas is Pizelli at bnro. There are but 
three days more ; but the two last are to have balls all 
the morning at the fine unfinished palace of the 
Strozzi ; and the Tuesday night a masquerade after 
supper : they sup first, to eat gras, and not encroach 
upon Ash-Wednesda}'. What makes masqueradino- 
more agreeable here than in England, is the oreat 
deference that is showed to the disguised. Here they 
do not catch at those little dirty opportunities of sayino- 
any ill-natured thing they know of you, do not abuse 
you because they may, or talk gross bawdy to a woman 
of quality. I found the other day, by a play of 
Etheridge's, that we have had a sort of Carnival even 
since the Reformation ; 'tis in She would if She could. 

they talk of going a-mumming in Shrove-tide. 

After talking so much of diversions, I fear you will 
attribute to them the fondness I own I contract for 
Florence ; but it has so many other charms, that 1 
shall not want excuses for my taste. The freedom of 
the Carnival has given me opportunities to make 
several acquaintances ; and if I have not found them 
refined, learned, polished, like some other cities, yet 
they are civil, good-natured, and fond of the English. 
Their litde partiality for themselves, opposed to the 
violent vanity of the French, makes them very amiable 



in my eyes. I can give you a comical instance of 
their great prejudice about nobility ; it happened 
yesterday. While we were at dinner at Mr. Mann's, 
word was brought by his secretary, that a cavalier 
demanded audience of him upon an affair of honour. 
Gray and I flew behind the curtain of the door. An 
elderly gentleman, whose attire was not certainly 
correspondent to the greatness of his birth, entered, 
and informed the British minister, that one Martin, an 
English painter, had left a challenge for him at his 
house, for having said Martin was no gentleman. He 
would by no means have spoke of the duel before the 
transaction of it, but that his honour, his blood, his 
&c. would never permit him to fight with one who was 
no cavalier ; which was what he came to inquire of his 
excellency. We laughed loud laughs, but unheard : 
his fright or his nobility had closed his ears. But 
mark the sequel : the instant he was gone, my very 
English curiosity hurried me out of the gate St. Gallo ; 
'twas the place and hour appointed. We had not been 
driving about above ten minutes, but out popped a 
little figure, pale but cross, with beard unshaved and 
hair uncombed, a slouched hat, and a considerable red 
cloak, in which was wrapped, under his arm, the fatal 
sword that was to revenge the highly injured Mr. 
Martin, painter and defendant. I darted my head out 
of the coach, just ready to say, "Your servant, Mr. 
Martin," and talk about the architecture of the trium- 
phal arch that was building there ; but he would not 
know me, and walked off. We left him to wait for an 
hour, to grow very cold and very valiant the more it 


grew past the hour of appointment. We were figuring 
all the poor creature s huddle of thoughts, and confused 
hopes of victory or fame, of his unfinished pictures, or 
his situation upon bouncing into the next world. You 
will think us strange creatures ; but 'twas a pleasant 
sight, as we knew the poor painter was safe. I have 
thought of it since, and am inclined to believe that 
nothing but two English could have been capable of 
such a jaunt. I remember, 'twas reported in London, 
that the plague was at a house in the city, and all the 
town went to see it. 

I have this instant received your letter. Lord ! I 
am glad I thought of those parallel passages, since it 
made you translate them. 'Tis excessively near the 
original ; and yet, I don't know, 'tis very easy too. — 
It snows here a little to-night, but it never lies but on 
the mountains. Adieu ! 

Yours ever. 

P.S. — What is the history of the theatres this 
winter ? 


To Richard West, Esq. 

Naples, June 14, 1740, N.S. 

Dear West, — One hates writing descriptions that 
are to be found in every book of travels ; but we have 
seen something to-day that I am sure you never read 

VOL. I. 3 


of, and perhaps never heard of. Have you ever heard 
of a subterraneous town ? a whole Roman town, with 
all its edifices, remaining under ground ? Don't fancy 
the inhabitants buried it there to save it from the 
Goths : they were buried with it themselves ; which is 
a caution we are not told that they ever took. You 
remember in Titus's time there were several cities 
destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius, attended with 
an earthquake. Well, this was one of them, not very 
considerable, and then called Herculaneum. Above it 
has since been built Portici, about three miles from 
Naples, where the King has a villa. This under- 
ground city is perhaps one of the noblest curiosities 
tliat ever has been discovered. It was found out by 
chance, about a year and half ago. They began 
digging, they found statues ; they dug further, they 
found more. Since that they have made a very 
considerable progress, and find continually. You may 
walk the compass of a mile ; but by the misfortune of 
the modern town being overhead, they are obliged to 
proceed with great caution, lest they destroy both one 
and t'other. By this occasion the path is very narrow, 
just wide enough and high enough for one man to walk 
upright. They have hollowed, as they found it easiest 
to work, and have carried their streets not exactly 
where were the ancient ones, but sometimes before 
houses, sometimes through them. You would imagine 
that all the fabrics were crushed together; on the 
contrary, except some columns, they have found all the 
edifices standing upright in their proper situation. 
There is one inside of a tem[>le quite perfect, with the 


middle arch, two columns, and two pilasters. It is 
built of brick plastered over, and painted with archi- 
tecture : almost all the insides of the houses are in the 
same manner ; and, what is very particular, the general 
ground of all the painting is red. Besides this temple, 
they make out very plainly an amphitheatre : the stairs, 
of white marble, and the seats are very perfect ; the 
inside was painted in the same colour with the private 
houses, and great part cased with white marble. They 
have found among other things some fine statues, some 
human bones, some rice, medals, and a few paintings 
extremely fine. These latter are preferred to all the 
ancient paintings that have ever been discovered. We 
have not seen them yet, as they are kept in the King's 
apartment, whither all these curiosities are trans- 
planted ; and 'tis difficult to see them — but we shall. 
I forgot to tell you, that in several places the beams 
of the houses remain, but burnt to charcoal ; so little 
damaged that they retain visibly the grain of the wood, 
but upon touching crumble to ashes. What is remark- 
able, there are no other marks or appearance of fire, 
but what are visible on these beams. 

There might certainly be collected great light from 
this reservoir of antiquities, if a man of learning had 
the inspection of it ; if he directed the working, and 
would make a journal of the discoveries. But I 
believe there is no judicious choice made of directors. 
There is nothing of the kind known in the world ; I 
mean a Roman city entire of that age, and that has 
not been corrupted with modern repairs. Besides 
scrutinising this very carefully, I should be inclined to 


search for the remains of the other towns that were 
partners with this in the general ruln.^ 'Tis certainly 
an advantage to the learned world, that this has been 
laid up so long. Most of the discoveries in Rome 
were made in a barbarous age, where they only ran- 
sacked the ruins in quest of treasure, and had no 
regard to the form and being of the building ; or to 
any circumstances that might give light into its use 
and history. I shall finish this long account with a 
passage which Gray has observed in Statius, and which 
directly pictures out this latent city : — 

Hcec ego Chalcidicis ad te, Marcelle, sonabam 
Littoribus, fractas ubi Vestius egerit iras, 
^mula Trinacriis volvens incendia flammis. 
Mira fides ! credetne virum ventura propago, 
Cum segetes iterum, cum jam hEc deserta virebunt, 
Infra urbes populosque premi ? 

Sylv. lib. iv. epist. 4. 

Adieu, my dear West ! and believe me yours ever. ^ 

' It was known from the account of Pliny that other towns had been 
destroyed by the same eruption as Herculaneum, and eight years after 
the date of this letter some fresh excavations led to the discovery of 
Pompeii. Matthews, in his " Diary of an Invalid," describes both, and 
his account explains why Pompeii, though the smaller town, presents 
more attractions to the scholar or the antiquarian. *' On our way home 
we explored Herculaneum, which scarcely repays the labour. This town 
is filled up with lava, and with a cement caused by the large mixture of 
water with the shower of earth and ashes which destroyed it ; and it is 
choked up as completely as if molten lead had been poured into it. 
Besides, it is forty feet below the surface, and another town is now built 
over it. . . . Pompeii, on the contrary, was destroyed by a shower of 
cinders in vvhicli there was a much less quantity of water. It lay for 
centuries only twelve feet below the surface, and, these cinders being 
easily removed, the town has been again restored to the light of day" 
(vol. i. p. 254). 



To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 


July 5, 1740, N.S. 

You will wonder, my dear Hal, to find me on the 
road from Rome : why, intend I did to stay for a new 
popedom, but the old eminences are cross and obstinate, 
and will not choose one, the Holy Ghost does not 
know when. There is a horrid thing called the ma- 
laria, that comes to Rome every summer, and kills one, 
and I did not care for being killed so far from Christian 
burial. We have been jolted to death ; my servants 
let us come without springs to the chaise, and we are 
wore threadbare : to add to our disasters, I have 
sprained my ancle, and have brought it along, laid 
upon a little box of baubles that I have bought for 
presents in England. Perhaps I may pick you out 
some little trifle there, but don't depend upon it ; you 
are a disagreeable creature, and may be I shall not 
care for you. Though I am so tired in this devil of a 
place, yet I have taken it into my head, that it is like 
Hamilton's Bavvn," and I must write to you. 'Tis the 
top of a black barren mountain, a vile little town at 

■ Hamilton's Bawn is an old buildin^^ near Richhill, in the County of 
Armagh, the subject of one of Swift's burlesque poems. 


the foot of an old citadel : yet this, know you, was the 
residence of one of the three kings that went to 
Christ's birth-day ; his name'Vas Alabaster, Abarasser, 
or some such thing ; the other two were kings, one of 
the East, the other of Cologn. 'Tis this of Cofano, 
vvho was represented in an ancient painting, found in 
rhe Palatine Mount, now in the possession of Dr. 
Mead ; he was crowned by Augustus. Well, but 
about writing — what do you think I write with ? 
Nay, with a pen ; there was] never a one to be found 
in the whole circumference but one, and that was in 
the possession of the governor, and had been used 
time out of mind to write the parole with : I was 
forced to send to borrow it. It was sent me under 
the conduct of a serjeant and two Swiss, with desire 
to return it when I should have done with it. 'Tis a 
curiosity, and worthy to be laid up with the relics 
which we have just been seeing in a small hovel of 
Capucins on the side of the hill, and which were all 
brought by his Majesty from Jerusalem. Among 
other things of great sanctity there is a set of gnashing 
of teeth, the grinders very entire ; a bit of the worm 
that never dies, preserved in spirits ; a crow j6{ St. 
Peter's cock, very useful against Easter ;x_th&^crisping 
and curling, frizzling and frowncing of Mary Magdalen, 
which she cut off on growing devout. The good man 
that showed us all these commodities was crot into such 
a train of calling them the blessed this, and the blessed 
that, that at last he showed us a bit of the blessed fig- 
tree that Christ cursed. 


Florence, July 9. 

My dear Harry, — We are come hither, and I have 
received another letter from you with " Hosier's 
Ghost." ^ Your last put me in pain for you, when you 
talked of going to Ireland ; but now I find your 
brother and sister go with you, I am not much con- 
cerned. Should I be ? You have but to say, for my 
feelings are extremely at your service to dispose as 
you please. Let us see : you are to com.e back to 
stand for some place ; that will be about April. 'Tis 
a sort of thing I should do, too ; and then we should 
see one another, and that would be charming : but it 
is a sort of thing I have no mind to do ; and then we 
shall not see one another, unless you would come 
hither — but that you cannot do : nay, I would not 
have you, for then I shall be gone. — So, there are 
many ifs that just signify nothing at all. Return I 
must sooner than I shall like. I am happy here to a 
degree. I'll tell you my situation. I am lodged with 
Mr. Mann, the best of creatures. I have a terreno 
all to myself, with an open gallery on the Arno, where 
I am now writing to you. Over against me is the 
famous Gallery : and, on either hand, two fair bridges. 

' "Admiral Hosier's Ghost" is the title of a ballad by Glover on the 
death of Admiral Hosier, a distinguished admiral, who had been sent 
with a squadron to blockade the Spanish treasure-ships in Porto Bello, but 
was prohibited from attacking them in the harbour. He died in 1727, 
according to the account that the poet adopted, of mortification at the 
inaction to which his orders compelled him ; but according to another 
statement, more trustworthy if less poetical, of fever. 


Is not this charming and cool ? The air is so serene, 
and so secure, that one sleeps with all the windows 
and doors thrown open to the river, and only covered 
with a slight gauze to keep away the gnats. Lady 
Pomfret has a charming conversation once a week. 
She has taken a vast palace and a vast garden, which 
is vastly commode, especially to the cicisbeo-part of 
mankind, who have free indulgence to wander in pairs 
about the arbours. You know her daughters : Lady 
Sophia is still, nay she must be, the beauty she was : 
Lady Charlotte is much improved, and is the cleverest 
girl in the world ; speaks the purest Tuscan, like any 
Florentine. The Princess Craon has a constant 
pharaoh and supper every night, where one is quite at 
one's ease. I am going into the country with her and 
the prince for a little while, to a villa of the Great 
Duke's. The people are good-humoured here and 
easy ; and what makes me pleased with them, they are 
pleased with me. One loves to find people care for 
one, when they can have no view in it. 

You see how glad I am to have reasons for not 
returning ; I wish I had no better. 

As to " Hosier's Ghost," I think it very easy, and 
consequently pretty ; but, from the ease, should never 
have guessed it Glover's. I delight in your, " the 
patriots cry it up, and the courtiers cry it down, and 
the hawkers cry it up and down," and your laconic 
history of the King and Sir Robert, on going to 
Hanover, and turning out the Duke of Argyle. The 
epigram, too, you sent me on the same occasion is 


Unless I sent you back news that you and others 
send me, I can send you none. I have left the Con- 
clave, which is the only stirring thing in this part of 
the world, except the child that the Queen of Naples 
is to be delivered of in August. There is no likeli- 
hood the Conclave will end, unless the messages take 
effect which 'tis said the Imperial and French ministers 
have sent to their respective courts for leave to quit 
the Corsini for the Albani faction : otherwise there will 
never be a pope. Corsini has lost the only one he 
could have ventured to make pope, and him he de- 
signed; 'twas CencI, a relation of the Corsini's mistress. 
The last morning Corsini made him rise, stuffed a dish 
of chocolate down his throat, and would carry him to 
the scrutiny. The poor old creature went, came back, 
and died. I am sorry to have lost the sight of the 
Pope's coronation, but I might have staid for seeing it 
till I had been old enough to be pope myself.^ 

Harry, what luck the Chancellor has ! first, indeed, 
to be in himself so great a man : but then in accident: 
he is made Chief Justice and peer, when Talbot is 
made Chancellor and peer. Talbot dies in a twelve- 
month, and leaves him the seals at an age when others 
are scarce made Solicitors: — then marries his son into 
one of the first families of Britain, obtains a patent for 
a Marquisate and eight thousand pounds a year after 
the Duke of Kent's death : the Duke dies in a fort- 
night, and leaves them all ! People talk of Fortune's 

' The contest was caused by the death of Clement XII. The success- 
ful candidate was Benedict XIV. 


wheel, that is ahvvays rolHng : troth, my Lord Hard- 
wicke has overtaken her wheel, and rolled away with 
it. . . . Yours ever. 


To Richard West, Esq. 

Florence, Oct. 2, 1740, N.S. 

Dear West, — T'other night as we (you know who 
we are) were walking on the charming bridge, just 
before going to a wedding assembly, we said, '' Lord, 
I wish, just as we are got into the room, they would 
call us out, and say, West is arrived ! We would 
make him dress instantly, and carry him back to the 
entertainment. How he would stare and wonder at a 
thousand things, that no longer strike us as odd ! " 
Would not you? One agreed that you should have 
come directly by sea from Dover, and be set down at 
Leghorn, without setting foot in any other foreign 
town, and so land at Us, in all your first full amaze ; 
for you are to know, that astonishment rubs off 
violently ; we did not cry out Lord ! half so much at 
Rome as at Calais, which to this hour I look upon as 
one of the most surprising cities in the universe. My 
dear child, what if you were to take this little sea- 
jaunt ? One would recommend Sir John Norris's 
convoy to you, but one should be laughed at now for 


supposing that he is ever to sail beyond Torbay.^ 
The Italians take Torbay for an English town in the 
hands of the Spaniards, after the fashion of Gibraltar, 
and imagine 'tis a wonderful strong place, by our 
fleet's having retired from before it so often, and so 
often returned. 

We went to this wedding that I told you of; 
'twas a charming feast : a large palace finely illumi- 
nated ; there were all the beauties, all the jewels, 
and all the sugar-plums of Florence. Servants 
loaded with great chargers full of comfits heap the 
tables with them, the women fall on with both hands, 
and stuff their pockets and every creek and corner 
about them. You would be as much amazed at us as 
at anything you saw : instead of being deep in the 
liberal arts, and being in the Gallery every morning, 
as I thought of course to be sure I would be, we are 
in all the idleness and amusements of the town. For 
me, I am grown so lazy, and so tired of seeing sights, 
that, though I have been at Florence six months, I 
have not seen Leghorn, Pisa, Lucca, or Pistoia ; na}', 
not so much as one of the Great Duke's villas. I 
have contracted so great an aversion to inns and post- 

' Sir John Norris was one of the most gallant and skilful seamen of 
his time ; but an expedition in which he had had the command had 
lately proved fruitless. He had been instructed to cruise about the Day 
of Biscay, in the hope of intercepting some of the Spanish treasure-ships ; 
but the weather had been so uninterruptedly stormy that he had been 
compelled to return to port without having even seen an enemy. The 
following lines were addressed to him upon this occasion : 

Homeward, oh I bend thy course ; the seas are rough ; 

To the Land's End who sails, has sailed enough. 


chaises, and have so absolutely lost all curiosity, that, 
except the towns in the straight road to Great Britain, 
I shall scarce see a jot more of a foreign land ; and 
trust me, when I return, I will not visit Welsh moun- 
tains, like Mr. Williams. After Mount Cenis, the 
Boccheto, the Giogo, Radicofani, and the Appian 
Way, one has mighty little hunger after travelling. I 
shall be mighty apt to set up my staff at Hyde-park- 
corner : the alehouseman there at Hercules's Pillars ^ 
was certainly returned from his travels into foreign 

Now I'll answer your questions. 

I have made no discoveries in ancient or modern 
arts. Mr. Addison travelled through the poets, and 
not through Italy ; for all his ideas are borrowed from 
the descriptions, and not from the reality. He saw 
places as they were, not as they are.- I am very well 
acquainted with Doctor Cocchi ; 3 he is a good sort of 
man, rather than a great man ; he is a plain honest 
creature, with quiet knowledge, but I dare say all the 
English have told you, he has a very particular under- 
standing : I really don't believe they meant to impose 

' The sv^n of the Hercules' Pillars remained in Piccadilly till very 
lately. It was situated on part of the ground now [179S] occupied by 
the houses of Mr. Drummond Smith and his brother. — Miss Bkrry. That 
is, on the space between Hamilton Place and Apsley House. It was the 
inn mentioned in Fielding's "Tom Jones," and was notorious as a favourite 
resort of the Marquis of Granby. 

'■' Compare Letter to Zouch, March 20th, 1762. Fielding says (" Voyage 
to Lisbon ") that Addison, in his " Travels," is to be looked upon rather 
as a commentator on the classics, than as a writer of travels. 

^ Antonio Cocchi, a learned physician and author at Florence, a 
particular friend of Mr. Mann.— W.M.l'OLK. He died in 175S. 


on you, for they thought so. As to Bondelmonti, he 
is much less ; he is a low mimic ; the brightest cast of 
his parts attains to the composition of a sonnet : he 
talks irreligion with English boys, sentiment with my 
sister [Lady Walpole], and bad French with any one 
that will hear him. I will transcribe you a little song 
that he made t'other day ; 'tis pretty enough ; Gray 
turned it into Latin, and I into English ; you will 
honour him highly by putting it into French, and 
Ashton into Greek. Here 'tis. 

Spesso Amor sotto la forma 
D'amistk ride, e s'asconde; 
Poi si mischia, e si confonde 
Con lo sdegno e col rancor. 

In pietade ei si trasforma, 
Par trastullo e par dispetto, 
Ma nel suo diverso aspetto, 
Sempre egli e I'istesso Amor. 

Risit amicitis interdum velatus amictu, 
Et bene composita veste fefellit Amor : 

Mox irse assumpsit cultus faciemque minantem, 
Inque odium versus, versus et in lacrymas : 

Sudentem fuge, nee lacrymanti aut crede furenti ; 
Idem est dissimili semper in ore Ueus. 

Love often in the comely mien 
Of friendship fancies to be seen ; 
Soon again he shifts his dress, 
And wears disdain and rancour's face. 

To gentle pity then he changes ; 

Thro' wantonness, thro' piques he ranges ; 

But in whatever shape he move, 

He's still himself, and still is Love. 


See how we trifle ! but one can't pass one's youth 
too amusingly ; for one must grow old, and that in 
England ; two most serious circumstances either of 
which makes people grey in the twinkling of a bed- 
staff; for know you, there is not a country upon earth 
where there are so many old fools and so few young 

Now I proceed with my answers. 

I made but small collections, and have only bought 
some bronzes and medals, a few busts, and two or 
three pictures ; one of my busts is to be mentioned ; 
'tis the famous Vespasian in touchstone, reckoned the 
best in Rome, except the Caracalla of the Farnese : I 
gave but twenty-two pounds for it at Cardinal 
Ottoboni's sale. One of my medals is as great a 
curiosity : 'tis of Alexander Severus, with the amphi- 
theatre in brass ; this reverse is extant on medals of 
his, but mine is a inedagliuncino, or small medallion, 
and the only one with this reverse known in the world: 
'twas found by a peasant while I was in Rome, and 
sold by him for sixpence to an antiquarian, to whom 
I paid for it seven guineas and a half ; but to virtuosi 
'tis worth any sum. 

As to Tartini's ^ musical compositions, ask Gray ; I 
know but little in music. 

But for the Academy, I am not of it, but frequently 
in company with it : 'tis all disjointed. Madame 

' Giuseppe Tartini, of Padua, the celebrated composer of the Devil's 
Sonata : in which he attempted to reproduce an air which he dreamt that 
Satan had played to him while he was asleep ; but, in his own opinion, he 
failed so entirely, that he declared tliat if he had any other means of live- 
lihood lie would Ijrcak his violin and give up music. 


* * *^ who, though a learned lady, has not lost her 
modesty and character, is extremely scandalised with 
the other two dames, especially with Moll Worthless 
[Lady Mary Wortley], who knows no bounds. She is 
at rivalry with Lady W[alpole] for a certain Mr. * * *^ 
whom perhaps you knew at Oxford. If you did not, 
I'll tell you : he is a grave young man by temper, and 
a rich one by constitution ; a shallow creature by 
nature, but a wit by the grace of our women here, 
whom he deals with as of old with the Oxford toasts. 
He fell into sentiments with my Lady W[alpole] and 
was happy to catch her at Platonic love : but as she 
seldom stops there, the poor man will be frightened 
out of his senses when she shall break the matter to 
him ; for he never dreamt that her purposes were so 
naught. Lady Mary is so far gone, that to get him 
from the mouth of her antagonist she literally took him 
out to dance country dances last night at a formal 
ball, where there was no measure kept in laughing at 
her old, foul, tawdry, painted, plastered personage. 
She played at pharaoh two or three times at Princess 
Craon's, where she cheats horse and foot. She is 
really entertaining : I have been reading her works, 
which she lends out in manuscript, but they are too 
womanish : I like few of her performances. I forgot 
to tell you a good answer of Lady Pomfret to Mr. 
* * *, who asked her if she did not approve Platonic 
love ? " Lord, sir," says she, " I am sure any one 
that knows me never heard that I had any love but 
one, and there sit two proofs of it," pointing to her 
two dauLfhters. 


So I have given you a sketch of our employments, 
and answered your questions, and will with pleasure as 
many more as you have about you. 

Adieu ! Was ever such a lonor letter ? But 'tis 
nothing to what I shall have to say to you. I shall 
scold you for never telling us any news, public or 
private, no deaths, marriages, or mishaps ; no account 
of new books : Oh, you are abominable ! I could find 
it in my heart to hate you, if I did not love you so 
well ; but we will quarrel now, that we may be the 
better friends when we meet : there is no danger of 
that, is there ? Good-night, whether friend or foe ! 
I am most sincerely Yours. 


To Sir Horace Mann.^ 

Friday i Jan. 22, 1742. 

Don't wonder that I missed writing to you yester- 
day, my constant day : you will pity me when you 
hear that I was shut up in the House of Commons till 
one in the morning. I came away more dead than 
alive, and was forced to leave Sir R. at supper with 
my brothers : he was all alive and in spirits.^ He says 

' Sir H. Mann was an early friend of Wa'pole ; and was Minister at 
Florence from 1740-1786. 

'•' Sir Robert Wilniot also, in a letter to the Duke of Devonshire, 



he is younger than me, and indeed I think so, in spite 
of his forty years more. My head aches to-night, but 
we rose early; and if I don't write to-night, when shall 
I find a moment to spare ? Now you want to know 
what we did last night ; stay, I will tell you presently 
in its place : it was well, and of infinite consequence — 
so far I tell you now. 

Our recess finished last Monday, and never at school 
did I enjoy holidays so much — but, les voilci finis jusqii att 
printems ! Tuesday (for you see I write you an 
absolute journal) we sat on a Scotch election, a double 
return ; their man was Hume Campbell,- Lord March- 
mont's brother, lately made solicitor to the Prince, for 
being as troublesome, as violent, and almost as able as 
his brother. They made a great point of it, and gained 
so many of our votes, that at ten at night we were 
forced to give it up without dividing. Sandys, who 
loves persecution, even 7Lnto death, moved to punish the 
sheriff ; and as we dared not divide, they ordered him 
into custody, where by this time, I suppose, Sandys 
has eaten him. 

On Wednesday Sir Robert Godschall, the Lord 

written on the 12th, says, " Sir Robert was to-day observed to be more 
naturally gay and full of spirits than he has been for some time past." 

- Hume Campbell, twin brother of Hugh, third Earl of Marchmont, the 
friend of Pope, and one of his executors. They were sons of Alexander, the 
second earl, who had quarrelled with Sir Robert Walpole at the time of 
the excise scheme in 1733. Sir Robert, in consequence, prevented him 
from being re-elected one of the sixteen representative Scotch peers in 
1734 ; in requital for which, the old earl's two sons became the bitterest 
opponents of the minister. They were both men of considerable talents ; 
extremely similar in their characters and dispositions, and so much so in 
their outward appearance, that it was very difficult to know them apart. 
VOL. I. 4 


Mayor, presented the Merchant's petition, signed by 
three hundred of them, and drawn up by Leonidas 
Glover.^ This is to be heard next Wednesday. This 
gold-chain came into parHament, cried up for his parts, 
but proves so dull, one would think he chewed opium. 
Earle says, " I have heard an oyster speak as well 
twenty times." . . . 

On this Thursday, of which I was telling you, at 
three o'clock, Mr. Pulteney rose up, and moved for a 
secret committee of twenty-one. This inquisition, this 
council of ten, was to sit and examine whatever persons 
and papers they should please, and to meet when and 
where they pleased. He protested much on its not 
being intended against any person, but merely to give 
the King advice, and on this foot they fought it till ten 
at night, when Lord Perceval blundered out what they 
had been cloaking with so much art, and declared that 
he should vote for it as a committee of accusation. Sir 
Robert immediately rose, and protested that he should 
not have spoken, but for what he had heard last ; but 
that now, he must take it to himself. He pourtrayed 
the malice of the Opposition, who, for twenty years, 
had not been able to touch him, and were now reduced 
to this infamous shift. He defied them to accuse him, 
and only desired that if they should, it might be in an 
open and fair manner ; desired no favour, but to be 
acquainted with his accusation. He s^Doke of Mr. 
Dodington, who had called his administration infamous, 

' Mr. Glover, a London merchant, was the author of a poem entitled 
" Leonidas" ; of a tra;;cdy, " Boadicea " ; and of the ode on "Admiral 
Hosier's Ghost," which is mentioned in the letter to Conway at p. 23. 


as of a person of great self-mortification, who, for six- 
teen years, had condescended to bear part of the odium. 
For Mr. Pulteney, who had just spoken a second time, 
Sir R. said, he had begun the debate with great calm- 
ness, but give him his due, he had made amends 
for it in the end. In short, never was innocence so 
triumphant ! 

There were several glorious speeches on both sides ; 
Mr. Pulteney's two, W. Pitt's [Chatham's] and George 
Grenville's, Sir Robert's, Sir W. Yonge's, Harry Fox's 
[Lord Holland's], Mr. Chute's, and the Attorney- 
General's [Sir Dudley Ryder]. My friend Coke 
[Lovel], for the first time, spoke vastly well, and 
mentioned how great Sir Robert's character is abroad. 
Sir Francis Dashwood replied that he had found quite 
the reverse from Mr. Coke, and that foreigners always 
spoke with contempt of the Chevalier de Walpole. 
This was going too far, and he was called to order, but 
got off well enough, by saying, that he knew it was 
contrary to rule to name any member, but that he only 
mentioned it as spoken by an impertinent Frenchman. 

But of all speeches, none ever was so full of wit as 
Mr. Pulteney's last. He said, " I have heard this 
committee represented as a most dreadful spectre ; it 
has been likened to all terrible things ; it has been 
likened to the King ; to the inquisition ; it will be a 
committee of safety ; it is a committee of danger ; I 
don't know what it is to be ! One gentleman, I think, 
called it a cloud ! (this was the Attorney) a cloud I I 
remember Hamlet takes Lord Polonius by the hand 
and shows him a cloicd, and then asks him if he does 


not think ft is like a whale." Well, in short, at eleven at 
night we divided, and threw out this famous committee 
by 253 to 250, the greatest number that ever was in 
the house, and the greatest number that ever lost a 
question. I 

It was a most shocking sight to see the sick and 
dead brought in on both sides ! Men on crutches, 
and Sir William Gordon from his bed, with a blister 
on his head, and flannel hanging out from under 
his wig. I could scarce pity him for his ingratitude. 
The day before the Westminster petition, Sir Charles 
Wager gave his son a ship, and the next day the father 
came down and voted against him. The son has since 
been cast away ; but they concealed it from the father, 
that he might not absent himself However, as we 
have our good-natured men too on our side, one of his 
own countrymen went and told him of it in the House. 
The old man, who looked like Lazarus at his resuscita- 
tion, bore it with great resolution, and said, he knew 
why he was told of it, but when he thought his country 
in danger, he would not go away. As he is so near 
death, that it is indifferent to him whether he died two 
thousand years ago or to-morrow, it is unlucky for him 
not to have lived when such insensibility would have 
been a Roman virtue. 

There are no arts, no menaces, which the Opposition 
do not practise. They have threatened one gentleman 
to have a reversion cut off from his son, unless he willi 

' Lord SianlK)i)C ("History of England," i. 24) gives a long .Iccoui ; 
of this debate, mainly derived from this letter. 


vote with them. To Totness there came a letter to 
the mayor from the Prince, and signed by two of his 
lords, to recommend a candidate in opposition to the 
Solicitor-General [Strange]. The mayor sent the letter 
to Sir Robert. They have turned the Scotch to the 
best account. There is a young Oswald, who had 
en^aofed to Sir R. but has voted agfainst us. Sir R. 
sent a friend to reproach him ; the moment the gentle- 
man who had engaged for him came into the room, 
Oswald said, " You had like to have led me into a fine 
error ! did you not tell me that Sir R. would have the 
majority ? " 

When the debate was over, Mr. Pulteney owned 
that he had never heard so fine a debate on our side ; 
and said to Sir Robert, " Well, nobody can do what 
you can!" "Yes," replied Sir R., " Yonge did 
better." Mr. Pulteney answered, " It was fine, but not 
of that weight with what you said." They all allow it; 
and now their plan is to persuade Sir Robert to retire 
with honour. All that evening there was a report 
about the town, that he and my uncle \old Horace] 
were to be sent to the Tower, and people hired 
windows in the City to see them pass by — but for this 
time I believe we shall not exhibit so historical a 
parade. . . . 

Sir Thomas Robinson [Long] is at last named to 
the government of Barbadoes ; he has long prevented 
its being asked for, by declaring that he had the 
promise of it. Luckily for him. Lord Lincoln liked 
his house, and procured him this government on con- 
dition of hiring it. 


I have mentioned Lord Perceval's speeches ; he has 
a set who has a rostrum at his house, and harangue 
there. A gentleman who came thither one evening 
was refused, but insisting that he was engaged to 
come, " Oh, Sir," said the porter, " what are you one 
of those who play at members of parliament ? " . . . 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Downing Street, May 26, 1742. 

To-DAY calls itself May the 26th, as you perceive 
by the date ; but I am writing to you by the fire-side, 
instead of going to Vauxhall. If we have one warm 
day in seven, " we bless our stars, and think it luxury." 
And yet we have as much waterworks and fresco 
diversions, as if we lay ten degrees nearer warmth. 
Two nights ago Ranelagh-gardens were opened at 
Chelsea ; the Prince, Princess, Duke, much nobility, 
and much mob besides, were there. There is a vast 
amphitheatre, finely gilt, painted, and illuminated, into 
which everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring, or 
crowding, is admitted for twelvepence. The building and 
disposition of the garden cost sixteen thousand pounds. 
Twice a-week there arc to be Ridottos, at guinea- 
tickets, for which you are to have a supper and music. 


I was there last night, but did not find the joy of it. 
Vauxhall is a Httle better ; for the garden is pleasanter, 
and one goes by water. Our operas are almost over ; 
there were but three-and-forty people last night in the 
pit and boxes. There is a little simple farce at Drury 
Lane, called " Miss Lucy in Town," in which Mrs. 
Clive mimics the Muscovita admirably, and Beard, 
Amorevoli tolerably. But all the run is now after 
Garrick, a wine-merchant, who is turned player, at 
Goodman's fields. He plays all parts, and is a very good 
mimic. His acting I have seen, and may say to you, 
who will not tell it again here, I see nothing wonderful 
in it ; but it is heresy to say so : the Duke of Argyll 
says, he is superior to Betterton. Now I talk of 
players, tell Mr. Chute, that his friend Bracegirdle 
breakfasted with me this morning. As she went out, 
and wanted her clogs, she turned to me, and said, " I 
remember at the playhouse, they used to call Mrs. 
Oldfield's chair ! Mrs. Barry's clogs ! and Mrs. Brace- 
girdle's pattens ! " 

I did, indeed, design the letter of this post for Mr. 
Chute ; but I have received two such charming long 
ones from you of the 15th and 20th of May (N.S), 
that I must answer them, and beg him to excuse me 
till another post ; so must the Prince [Craon], Princess, 
the Grifona, and Countess Galli. For the Princess's 
letter, I am not sure I shall answer it so soon, for 
hitherto I have not been able to read above every 
third word ; however, you may thank her as much as if 
I understood it all. I am very happy that mcs bagatelles 
(for I still insist they were so) pleased. You, my dear 


child, are very good to be pleased with the snuff-box. 
I am much obliged to the superior lumicres of old 
Sarasin about the Indian ink : if she meant the black, 
I am sorry to say I had it into the bargain with the 
rest of the Japan : for coloured, it is only a curiosity, 
because it has seldom been brought over. I remember 
Sir Hans Sloane was the first who ever had any of it, 
and would on no account give my mother the least 
morsel of it. She afterwards got a good deal of it 
from China ; and since that, more has come over ; but 
it is even less valuable than the other, for we never 
could tell how to use it ; however, let it make its 

I am sure you hate me all this time, for chatting 
about so many trifles, and telling you no politics. I 
own to you, I am so wearied, so worn with them, that 
I scarce know how to turn my hand to them ; but you 
shall know all I know. I told you of the meeting at 
the Fountain tavern : Pulteney had promised to be 
there, but was not ; nor Carteret. As the Lords had 
put off the debate on the Indemnity Bill,i nothing 
material passed ; but the meeting was very Jacobite. 
Yesterday the bill came on, and Lord Carteret took 
the lead against it, and about seven in the evening it 

' A previous letter describes this as a Bill " to indemnify all persons 
who should accuse themselves of any crime, provided they accuse 
Lord Orford [Sir R. W.]." It was carried in the House of Commons by 
251 to 228, but, as this letter mentions, was thrown out by the Lords by 
109 to 57. Lord Stanhope (c. 24) describes it as "a Bill which broke 
through the settled forms and safeguards of law, to strike at one 
obnoxious head." 


was flung out by almost two to one, 92 to 47, and 17 
proxies to 10. To-day we had a motion by the new 
Lord Hillsborough (for the father is just dead), and 
seconded by Lord Barrington, to examine the Lords' 
votes, to see what was become of the bill ; this is the 
form. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, and all the 
new ministry, were with us against it ; but they carried 
it, 164 to 159. It is to be reported to-morrow, and 
as we have notice, we may possibly throw it out ; else 
they will hurry on to a breach with the Lords. 
Pulteney was not in the House : he was riding the 
other day, and met the King's coach ; endeavouring to 
turn out of the way, his horse started, flung him, and 
fell upon him : he is much bruised ; but not at all 
dangerously. On this occasion, there was an epigram 
fixed to a list, which I will explain to you afterwards : 
it is not known who wrote it, but it was addressed to 
him : 

Thy horse does things by halves, like thee : 

Thou, with irresolution, 
Hurt'st friend and foe, thyself and me. 

The Kinii and Constitution. 

I must tell you an ingenuity of Lord Raymond, 
an epitaph on the Indemnifying Bill — I believe you 
would guess the author : — 

Interr'd beneath this marble stone doth lie 

The 15ill of Indemnity ; 
To show the good for which it was design'd, 

It died itself to save mankind. 


There has lately been published one of the most 
impudent things that ever was printed ; it is called 
** The Irish Register," and is a list of all the unmarried 
women of any fashion in England, ranked in order, 
duchesses-dowager, ladies, widows, misses, &c., with 
their names at length, for the benefit of Irish fortune- 
hunters, or as it is said, for the incorporating and 
manufacturing of British commodities. Miss Edwards 
is the only one printed with a dash, because they have 
placed her among the widows. I will send you this,) 
" Miss Lucy in Town," and the magazines, by the first 
opportunity, as I should the other things, but your 
brother tells me you have had them by another hand. 
I received the cedrati, for which I have already 
thanked you : but I have been so much thanked by 
several people to whom I gave some, that I can very 
well afford to thank you again. . . . 

P.S. — I unseal my letter to tell you what a vast and, 
probably, final victory we have gained to-day. They 
moved, that the Lords flinging out the Bill of In- 
demnity was an obstruction of justice, and might prove 
fatal to the liberties of this country. We have sat till 
this moment, seven o'clock, and have rejected this 
motion by 245 to 193. The call of the House, which 
they have kept off from fortnight to fortnight, to keep 
people in town, was appointed for to-day. The 
moment the division was over. Sir John Cotton rose 
and said, " As I think the inquiry is at an end, you 
may do what you will with the call." We have put iti 
off for two months. There's a noble postscript ! | 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Dec. 9, 1742. 

I SHALL have quite a partiality for the post of Hol- 
land ; it brought me two letters last week, and two more 
yesterday, of November 20th and 27th ; but I find 
you have your perpetual headaches — how can you say 
that you shall tire me with talking of them ? you may 
make me suffer by your pains, but I will hear and 
insist upon your always telling me of your health. Do 
you think I only correspond with you to know the 
posture of the Spaniards or the dpuisements of the 
Princess ! I am anxious, too, to know how poor 
Mr. Whithed does, and Mr. Chute's gout. I shall 
look upon our sea-captains with as much horror as 
the King of Naples can, if they bring gouts, fits, and 

You will have had a letter from me by this time, to 
give up sending the Dominichin by a man-of-war, and 
to propose its coming in a Dutch ship. I believe that 
will be safe. 

We have had another great day in the House on 
the army in Flanders, which the Opposition were for 
disbanding ; but we carried it by a hundred and 
twenty. Murray spoke for the first time, with the 
greatest applause ; Pitt answered him with all his 


force and art of language, but on an ill-founded 
argument. In all appearances, they will be great 
rivals. Shippen was in great rage at Murray's apos- 
tacy ; if anything can really change his principles, 
possibly this competition may. To-morrow we shall 
have a tougher battle on the sixteen thousand Hano- 
verians. Hanover is the word given out for this winter: 
there is a most bold pamphlet come out, said to be 
Lord Marchmont's, which affirms that in every treaty 
made since the accession of this family, England has 
been sacrificed to the interests of Hanover, and con- 
sequently insinuates the incompatibility of the two. 
Lord Chesterfield says " that if we have a mind 
effectually to prevent the Pretender from ever ob- 
taining this crown, we should make him Elector of 
Hanover, for the people of England will never fetch 
another king from thence." 

Adieu ! my dear child. I am sensible that I write 
you short letters, but I write you all I know. I don't 
know how it is, but the wonderful seems worn out. 
In this our day, we have no rabbit- women — no elope- 
ments — no epic poems, finer than Milton's — no contest 
about Harlequins and Polly Peachems. Jansen ^ hasi 
won no more estates, and the Duchess of Oueensberryi 
has grown as tame as her neighbours. Whist has]; 
spread an universal opium over the whole nation ; it 
makes courtiers and patriots sit down to the same 
pack of cards. The only thing extraordinary, and 

' H. Jansen, a celebrated gamester, who cheated the Duke of Bedford 
of an immense sum : Pope hints at that affair in this line, 

Or when a duke to Jansen punts at White's. 


which yet did not seem to surprise anybody, was 
the Barbarina's being attacked by four men masqued, 
the other night, as she came out of the Opera House, 
who would have forced her away ; but she screamed, 
and the guard came. Nobody knows who set them 
on, and I beHeve nobody inquired. 

The Austrians in Flanders have separated from our 
troops a little out of humour, because it was imprac- 
ticable for them to march without any preparatory 
provision for their reception. They will probably 
march in two months, if no peace prevents it. Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Feb. 24, 1743- 
I WRITE to you in the greatest hurry in the world, 
but write I will. Besides, I must wish you joy: 
you are warriors ; nay, conquerors ; ^ two things quite 
novel in this war, for hitherto it has been armies 
without fighting, and deaths without killmg. We 
talk of this battle as of a comet ; " Have you heard 
of the battle ? " it is so strange a thing, that numbers 
imagine you may go and see it at Charing Cross. 

■ This alludes to an engagement, which took place on the bth ot 
February, near Bologna, between the Spaniards under M. de Gages anc. 
the Austrians under General Traun, in which the latter were successful. 


Indeed, our officers, who are going to Flanders, 
don't quite like it ; they are afraid it should grow 
the fashion to fight, and that a pair of colours should 
no longer be a sinecure. I am quite unhappy about 
poor Mr. Chute : besides, it is cruel to find that absti- 
nence is not a drug. If mortification ever ceases to be 
a medicine, or virtue to be a passport to carnivals in 
the other world, who will be a self-tormentor any 
longer — not, my child, that I am one ; but, tell me, 
is he quite recovered ? 

I thank you for King Theodore's declaration, ^ and 
wish him success with all my soul. I hate the Genoese ; 
they make a commonwealth the most devilish of all 
tyrannies ! 

We have every now and then motions for disband- 
ing Hessians and Hanoverians,^ alias mercenaries ; but 
they come to nothing. To-day the party have de- 
clared that they have done for this session ; so you 
will hear little more but of fine equipages for Flanders: 
our troops are actually marched, and the officers begin 
to follow them — I hope they know whither ! You 

' With regard to Corsica, of which he had declared himself king. By 
this declaration, which was dated January 30, Theodore recalled, under 
pain of confiscation of their estates, all the Corsicans in foreign servicC; 
except that of the Queen of Hungary, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany.! 
(See vol. ii. p. 74.) I 

- The employment of Hessian and Hanoverian troops in this war was' 
not only the subject of frequent complaints in Parliament, but was alscii 
the cause of very general dissatisfaction in the country, where it waj|' 
commonly regarded as one of the numerous instances in which th« 
Ministers sacrificed the interests of England from an unworthy desire 
to maintain their places by humouring the king's preference for his 
native land. 


know in the last war in Spain, Lord Peterborough ^ 
rode galloping about to inquire for his army. 

But to come to more real contests ; Handel has set 
up an Oratorio against the Operas, and succeeds. He 
has hired all the goddesses from farces and the singers 
of Roast Beef- from between the acts at both theatres, 
with a man with one note in his voice, and a girl with- 
out ever an one ; and so they sing, and make brave 
hallelujahs ; and the good company encore the recita- 
tive, if it happens to have any cadence like what they 
call a tune. I was much diverted the other night at 
the opera ; two gentlewomen sat before my sister, and 
not knowing her, discoursed at their ease. Says one, 
"Lord! how fine Mr. W. is!" "Yes," rephed the 
other, with a tone of saying sentences, " some men 
love to be particularly so, your petit-maitres — but 
they are not always the brightest of their sex." — Do 
thank me for this period ! I am sure you will enjoy it 
as much as we did. 

I shall be very glad of my things, and approve 

' Lord Peterborough is celebrated by Pope as 

taming the genius of the arid plain 
Almost as quickly as he conquered Spain : 

not that he did conquer Spain ; but by an extraordinary combination of 
hardihood and skill he took Barcelona, which had defied all previous 
attacks ; and, in the confidence inspired by this important success, he 
offered Archduke Charles to escort him to Madrid, so that he might be 
crowned King of Spain in that capital. But the Archduke, under the 
advice of some of his own countrymen, who were jealous of his influence, 
rejected the plan. 

'' It was customary at this time for the galleries to call for a ballad 
called " The Roast Beef of Old England " between the acts, or before or 
after the play. — Walpole. 


entirely of your precautions ; Sir R. will be quite 
happy, for there is no telling you how impatient he 
is for his Dominchin. Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Houghton, July 4, 1743. 

I HEAR no particular news here, and I don't pretend 
to send you the common news ; for as I must have 
it first from London, you will have it from thence 
sooner in the papers than in my letters. There have 
been great rejoicings for the victory ; which I am 
convinced is very considerable by the pains the 
Jacobites take to persuade it is not. My Lord 
Carteret's Hanoverian articles have much offended ; 
his express has been burlesqued a thousand ways. 
By all the letters that arrive, the loss of the French 
turns out more considerable than by the first accounts : 
they have dressed up the battle into a victory for 
themselves — I hope they will always have such ! By 
their not having declared war with us, one should 
think they intended a peace. It is allowed that our 
fme horse did us no honour : the victory was gained 
by the foot. Two of their princes of the blood, the 
Prince de Dombes, and the Count d'Eu his brother, 
were wounded, and several of their first nobility. Our % 
prisoners turn out but seventy-two officers, besides the 
private men ; and by the printed catalogue, I don't L 


think many of great family. Marshal Noailles mortal 
wound is quite vanished, and Due d'Aremberg's shrunk 
to a very slight one. The King's glory remains in its 
first bloom. 

Lord Wilmington is dead.^ I believe the civil battle 
for his post will be tough. Now we shall see what 
service Lord Carteret's Hanoverians will do him. You 
don't think the crisis unlucky for him, do you ? If 
jyou wanted a Treasury, should you choose to have 
been in Arlington Street, or driving by the battle of 
Dettingen ? You may imagine our Court wishes for 
Mr. Pelham. I don't know any one who wishes for 
Lord Bath but himself — I believe that is a pretty 
Isubstantial wish. 

i I have got the Life of King Theodore, but I don't 
jknow how to convey it — I will inquire for some way. 

We are quite alone. You never saw anything so 
unlike as being here five months out of place, to the 
icongresses of a fortnight in place ; but you know the 
" Justum et tenacem propositi virum " ^ can amuse 
[himself without the " Civium ardor ! " As I have not 
so much dignity of character to fill up my time, I 
jcould like a little more company. With all this 
jleisure, you may imagine that I might as well be 
writing an ode or so upon the victory ; but as I 
cannot build upon the Laureate's 3 place till I know 

Formerly Sir Spencer Compton, and successor of Sir R. Walpole at 
the Treasury. He was succeeded by Mr. Pelham, a brother of the Duke 
of Newcastle. 

' A quotation from Horace, Odes iii. 3. 

■* The Poet Laureate was Colley Gibber. 

VOL. I. 5 


whether Lord Carteret or Mr. Pelham will carr 
the Treasury, I have bounded my compliments to 
slender collection of quotations against I should hav 
any occasion for them. Here are some fine lines fror 
Lord Halifax's ^ poem on the battle of the Boyne — 

The King leads on, the King does all inflame, , 

The King ; — and carries millions in the name. 

Then follows a simile about a deluge, which yo 
may imagine ; but the next lines are very good : 

So on the foe the firm battalions prest, 
And he, like the tenth wave, drove on the rest. 
Fierce, gallant, young, he shot through ev'ry place, 
Urging their flight, and hurrying on the chase. 
He hung upon their rear, or lighten'd in their face. 

The next are a magnificent compliment, and, as f 
as verse goes, to be sure very applicable. 

Stop, stop ! brave Prince, allay that generous flame ; 

Enough is given to England and to Fame. 

Remember, Sir, you in the centre stand ; 

Europe's divided interests you command, 

All their designs uniting in your hand. 

Down from your throne descends the golden chain 

Which does the fabric of our world sustain, 

That once dissolved by any fatal stroke. 

The scheme of all our happiness is broke. 

Adieu ! my clear Sir ; pray for peace ! 

' The celebrated Chancellor of the Exchequer, Charles Montagu, •> 
raised to the peerage as Karl of Halifax. In conjunction with I'rior, 
wrote the " Country and Cily Mouse," in ridicule of Drydcn's " Hind; 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Houghton, Sept. 7, 1743. 

My letters are now at their ne phts itltra of nothing- 
ness ; so you may hope they will grow better again. 
I shall certainly go to town soon, for my patience is 
worn out. Yesterday, the weather grew cold ; I put 
on a new waistcoat for its being winter's birthday — the 
season I am forced to love ; for summer has no charms 
for me when I pass it in the country. 

We are expecting another battle, and a congress at 
the same time. Ministers seem to be flocking to Aix 
la Chapelle : and, what will much surprise you, unless 
you have lived long enough not to be surprised, is, 
that Lord Bolingbroke has hobbled the same way 
too — you will suppose, as a minister for France ; I 
tell you, no. My uncle \old Horace], who is here, 
was yesterday stumping along the gallery with a very 
political march : my Lord asked him whither he was 
going. Oh, said I, to Aix la Chapelle. 

You ask me about the marrying Princesses. I know 
not a tittle. Princess Louisa seems to be going, her 
clothes are bought ; but marrying our daughters makes 
no conversation. For either of the other two, all 
thoughts seem to be dropped of it. The Senate of 
'1 Sweden design themselves to choose a wife for their 
man of Lubeck. 

The City, and our supreme governors, the mob, are 



very angry that there is a troop of French players at 
Clifden. One of them was lately impertinent to a 
countryman, who thrashed him. His Royal Highness 
sent angrily to know the cause. The fellow replied, 
♦'he thought to have pleased his Highness in beating 
one of them, who had tried to kill his father and 
had wounded his brother." This was not easy tc 


I delight in Prince Craon's exact intelligence ! Foi 

his satisfaction, I can tell him that numbers, even here 

would believe any story full as absurd as that of th( 

King and my Lord Stair ; or that very one, if anybody 

will write it over. Our faith in politics will match an] 

Neapolitan's in religion. A political missionary wil 

make more converts in a county progress than a Jesui 

in the whole empire of China, and will produce mor 

preposterous miracles. Sir Watkin Williams, at th 

last Welsh races, convinced the whole principality (b; 

reading a letter that affirmed it), that the King wa 

not within two miles of the battle of Dettingen. W 

are not good at hitting off anti-miracles, the only wa 

of defending one's own religion. I have read an ac 

mirable story of the Duke of Buckingham, who, whe 

James H. sent a priest to him to persuade him to tur 

Papist, and was plied by him with miracles, told th 

doctor, that if miracles were proofs of a religion, thj 

Protestant cause was as well supplied as theirs. W| 

have lately had a very extraordinary one near mj 

estate in the country. A very holy man, as you migl 

be. Doctor, was travelling on foot, and was benighte< 

He came to the cottage of a poor dowager, who ha 


nothing in the house for herself and daughter but a 
couple of eggs and a slice of bacon. However, as she 
was a pious widow, she made the good man welcome. 
In the morning, at taking leave, the saint made her 
over to God for payment, and prayed that whatever 
she should do as soon as he was gone she might con- 
tinue to do all day. This was a very unlimited request, 
and, unless the saint was a prophet too, might not 
have been very pleasant retribution. The good woman, 
who minded her affairs, and was not to be put out of 
her \vay, went about her business. She had a piece 
of coarse cloth to make a couple of shifts for herself 
and child. She no sooner began to measure it but the 
yard fell a-measuring, and there was no stopping it. 
It was sunset before the good woman had time to take 
breath. She was almost stifled, for she was up to her 
cars in ten thousand yards of cloth. She could have 
afforded to have sold Lady Mary Wortley a clean 
shift, of the usual coarseness she wears, for a groat 

I wish you would tell the Princess this story. 

Madame Riccardi, or the little Countess d'Elbenino, 

I will doat on it. I don't think it will be out of Pan- 

Idolfini's way, if you tell it to the little Albizzi. You 

see I have not forgot the tone of my Florentine 

[uaintance. I know I should have translated it to 
m: you remember what admirable work I used to 

ike of such stories in broken Italian. I have heard 
"Id Churchill tell Bussy English puns out of jest-books: 
I'articularly a reply about eating hare, which he trans- 
lated, "j'ai mon ventre plein de poil." Adieu ! 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Ma7%h 29, 1745. 

I BEGGED your brother to tell you what it was im- 
possible for me to tell you. You share nearly in our 
common loss ! Don't expect me to enter at all upon 
the subject. After the melancholy two months that I 
have passed, and in my situation, you will not wonder 
I shun a conversation which could not be bounded 
by a letter — a letter that would grow into a pane- 
gyric, or a piece of moral ; improper for me to write 
upon, and too distressful for us both ! — a death is 
only to be felt, never to be talked over by those it 
touches ! 

I had yesterday your letter of three sheets : I began 
to flatter myself that the storm was blown over, but I 
tremble to think of the danger you are in ! a danger, in 
which even the protection of the great friend you have 
lost could have been of no service to you. How 
ridiculous it seems for me to renew protestations of my 
friendship for you, at an instant when my father is just 
dead, and the Spaniards just bursting into Tuscany! 
How empty a charm would my name have, when all 
my interest and significance are buried in my father's 
grave ! All hopes of present peace, the only thing that 



cuiild save you, seem vanished. We expect every day 
to hear of the French declaration of war against 
Holland. The new Elector of Bavaria is French, like 
his father ; and the King of Spain is not dead. I 
don't know how to talk to you. I have not even a 
belief that the Spaniards will spare Tuscany. j\Iy dear 
child, what will become of you ? whither will you retire 
till a peace restores you to your ministry ? for upon 
that distant view alone I repose ! 

We are every day nearer confusion. The King is in 
jas bad humour as a monarch can be ; he wants to go 
abroad, and is detained by the Mediterranean affair ; 
the inquiry into which was moved by a Major Selwyn, 
a dirty pensioner, half-turned patriot, by the Court 
being overstocked with votes. This inquiry takes up 
the whole time of the House of Commons, but I don't 
see what conclusion it can have. My confinement has 
kept me from being there, except the first day ; and all 
I know of what is yet come out is, as it was stated by 
a Scotch member the other day, " that there had been 
one (Matthews) ^ with a bad head, another (Lestock) 

' Admiral Matthews, an officer of great courage and skill, was Com- 
mander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet. Lestock, his second in 
command, was also a skilful officer ; but the two were on bad terms, and 
when, in February, 1744, Matthews attacked the Spanish fleet, Lestock 
disobeyed his signals, and by his misconduct deprived Matthews of a 
splendid victory, which was clearly within his grasp. Court-martials 
were held on the conduct of both officers ; but the Admiralty was deter- 
mined to crush Matthews, as being a member of the House of Commons 
and belonging to the party of Opposition, and the consequence was that, 
though Lestock's misconduct was clearly proved, he was acquitted, and 
Matthews was sentenced to be cashiered, and declared incapable of 
any further employment in his Majesty's service. The whole is per- 
haps the most disgraceful transaction in the history of the navy or 


with a worse heart, and four (the captains of the in- 
active ships) with na heart at all." Among the nume- 
rous visits of form that I have received, one was from 
my Lord Sandys : as we two could only converse upon 
general topics, we fell upon this of the Mediterranean, 
and I made /mn allow, " that, to be sure, there is not 
so bad a court of justice in the world as the House of 
Commons ; and how hard it is upon any man to have 
his cause tried there ! " . . . 

The town flocks to a new play of Thomson's called 
** Tancred and Sigismunda : " it is very dull ; I have 
read it. I cannot bear modern poetry ; these refiners 
of the purity of the stage, and of the incorrectness of 
English verse, are most wofully insipid. I had rather 
have written the most absurd lines in Lee, than 
" Leonidas " or " The Seasons ; " as I had rather be 
put into the round-house for a wrong-headed quarrel, 
than sup quietly at eight o'clock with my grandmother. 
There is another of these tame genius's, a Mr. Aken- 
side, who writes Odes : in one he has lately published, 
he says, " Light the tapers, urge the fire." ^ Had not 
you rather make gods "jostle in the dark," than light 
the candles for fear they should break their heads ? 
One Russel, a mimic, has a puppet-show to ridicule 
Operas ; I hear, very dull, not to mention its being 
twenty years too late : it consists of three acts, with 
foolish Italian songs burlesqued in Italian. 

of the country. (See the Editor's " History of the British Navy," 
i. 203-214.) 

' Walpole's ciucjtalion, however, is incorrect ; the poet wrote : 

Urge the warm bowl, and ruddy fire. 



There is a very good quarrel on foot between two 
duchesses : she of Queensberry sent to invite Lady 
Emily Lenox to a ball : her Grace of Richmond, who 
is wonderfully cautious since Lady Caroline's elope- 
ment [with Mr. Fox], sent word, " she could not 
determine." The other sent again the same night : the 
s;ime answer. The Queensberry then sent word, that 
she had made up her company, and desired to be 
excused from having Lady Emily's : but at the bottom 
of the card wrote, " too great a trust." You know how 
rnad she is, and how capable of such a stroke. There 
is no declaration of war come out from the other 
Duchess ; but, I believe it will be made a national 
quarrel of the whole illegitimate royal family. 

It is the present fashion to make conundrums : there 
;ire books of them printed, and produced at all assem- 
blies : they are full silly enough to be made a fashion. 
I will tell you the most renowned : " Why is my uncle 
I lorace like two people conversing ? — Because he is 
both teller and auditor." This was Winnin^ton's. . . . 

I will take the first opportunity to send Dr. Cocchi 
his translated book ; I have not yet seen it myself. 

Adieu ! my dearest child ! I write with a house full 
of relations, and must conclude. Heaven preserve you 
and Tuscany. 




To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, May ii, 1745. 

I STAYED till to-day, to be able to give you some ac- 
count of the battle of Tournay : the outlines you will 
have heard already. We don't allow it to be a victory 
on the French side : but that is, just as a woman is 
not called Mrs. till she is married, though she may 
have had half-a-dozen natural children. In short, we 
remained upon the field of battle three hours ; I fear, 
too many of us remain there still ! without palliating, it 
is certainly a heavy stroke. We never lost near so 
many officers. I pity the Duke [of Cumberland], for 
it is almost the first battle of consequence that we ever 
lost. By the letters arrived to-day, we find that 
Tournay still holds out. There are certainly killed 
Sir James Campbell, General Ponsonby, Colonel Car- 
penter, Colonel Douglas, young Ross, Colonel 
Montagu, Gee, Berkeley, and Kellet. Mr. Vanburgh 
is since dead. Most of the young men of quality in 
the Guards are wounded. I have had the vast fortune 
to have nobody hurt, for whom I was in the least inte- 
rested. Mr. Conway, in particular, has highly distin- 
guished himself ; he and Lord Petersham, who is 
slightly wounded, are most commended ; though none 
behaved ill but the Dutch horse. There has been but 
very little consternation here : the King minded it so 



little, that being set out for Hanover, and blown back 
into Harwich roads since the news came, he could not 
e persuaded to return, but sailed yesterday with the 
air wind. I believe you will have the Gazette sent to- 
night ; but lest it should not be printed time enough, 
[lere is a list of the numbers, as it came over this 
morninp' : 

British foot 

. 1237 killed. 

Ditto horse .... 

90 ditto. 

Ditto foot .... 

1968 wounded. 

Ditto horse .... 

232 ditto. 

Ditto foot .... 

457 missing. 

Ditto horse .... 

18 ditto. 

Hanoverian foot 

432 killed. 

Ditto horse .... 

78 ditto. 

Ditto foot .... 

950 wounded. 

Ditto horse .... 

192 ditto. 

Ditto horse and foot . 

53 missing. 


625 killed and wounded 


1019 missing. 

So the whole hors de combat is above seven thousand 
three hundred. The French own the loss of three 
|;housand ; I don't believe many more, for it was a 
^lost rash and desperate perseverance on our side. 
The Duke behaved very bravely and humanely ; but 
this will not have advanced the peace. 

However coolly the Duke may have behaved, and 
:r)ldly his father, at least his brother [the Prince of 
Wales] has outdone both. He not only went to the 
jl.iy the night the news came, but in two days made a 
ballad. It is in imitation of the Regent's style, and has 
miscarried in nothing but the language, the thoughts, 
and the poetry. Did not I tell you in my last that 


he was going to act Paris in Congreve's " Masque " ? 
The song is addressed to the goddesses. 


Venez, mes cheres Deesses, 
Venez calmer mon chagrin ; 
Aidez, mes belles Princesses, 
A le noyer dans le vin. 
Poussons cette douce Ivresse 
Jusqu'au milieu de la nuit, 
Et n'ecoutons que la tendresse 
D'un charmant vis-a-vis. 

Quand le chagrin me devore, 
Vita k table je me mets, 
Loin des objets que j'abhorre, 
Avec joie j'y trouve la paix. 
Peu d'amis, restes d'un naufrage 
Je rassemble autour de moi, 
Et je me ris de I'etalage 
Ou'a chez lui toujours un Roi. 

Que m' importe, que I'Europe 
Ait un, ou plusieurs tyrans .^ 
Prions seulement Calliope, 
Qu'elle inspire nos vers, nos chants 
Laissons Mars et toute la gloire ; 
Livrons nous tous h I'amour ; 
Que Bacchus nous donne c\ boire ; 
A ces deux faisons la cour. 


Passons ainsi noire vie, 

Sans rcver a ce qui suit ; 

Avec ma chiire Sylvie 

Le terns trop vite me fuit. 

Mais si, par un malheur extreme, 

Je pcrdois cct objct charmant, 


Oui, cette compagnie meme 
Ne me tiendroit un moment. 


Me livrant h, ma tristesse, 
Toujours plein de mon chagrin, 
Je n'aurois plus d'allegresse 
Pour mettre Bathurst en train : 
Ainsi pour vous tenir en joie 
Invoquez toujours les Dieux, 
Ou'elle vive et qu'elle soit 
Avec nous toujoui^s heureuse I 

Adieu ! I am in great hurry 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

{Aiigust I, 1 745-] 
Dear George, — I cannot help thinking you laugh 
at me when you say such very civil things of my 
letters, and yet, coming from you, I would fain not 
have it all flattery : 

So much the more, as, from a little elf, 

I've had a high opinion of myself, 

Though sickly, slender, and not large of limb. 

With this modest prepossession, you may be sure I 
like to have you commend me, whom, after I have 
done with myself, I admire of all men living. I only 
beg that you will commend me no more : it is very 


ruinous ; and praise, like other debts, ceases to be due 
on being paid. One comfort indeed is, that it is as 
seldom paid as other debts. 

I have been very fortunate lately : I have met with 
an extreme good print of M. de Grignan ; ^ I am per- 
suaded, very like ; and then it has his touffe dbottrifde ; 
I don't, indeed, know what that was, but I am sure it 
is in the print. None of the critics could ever make 
out what Livy's Patavinity is ; though they are all 
confident it is in his writings. I have heard within 
these few days what, for your sake, I wish I could 
have told you sooner — that there is in Belleisle's suite 
the Abbe Perrin, who published Madame Sevigne's 
letters, and who has the originals in his hands. How 
one should have liked to have known him ! The 
Marshal - was privately in London last Friday. He is 
entertained to-day at Hampton Court by the Duke of 
Grafton. Don't you believe it was to settle the bind- 
ing the scarlet thread in the window, when the French 

■ M. de Grignan son-in-law to Mme. de Sevigne, the greater part of 
whose letters are to his wife. 

^ The Mardchal de Belleisle and his younger brother, the Comte de 
Belleisle, were the grandsons of Fouquet, the Finance Minister treated 
with such cruelty and injustice by Louis XIV. The Parisians nicknamed 
the two brothers " Imagination" and "Common Sense." The Marshal 
was joined with the Marshal de Broglie in the disastrous expedition 
against Prague in the winter of 1742 ; when, though they succeeded in 
taking and occupying the city for a time, they were afterwards forced to 
evacuate it ; and though Belleisle conducted the retreat with great courage 
and skill, the army, which had numbered fifty thousand men when it 
crossed the Rhine, scarcely exceeded twelve thousand when it regained 
the French territory. (See the Editor's "History of France under the 
Bourbons," c. xxv.) 


shall come in unto the land to possess it ? I don't at 
all wonder at any shrewd observations the Marshal 
has made on our situation. The briuCTina- him here 
at all — the sending him away now — in short, the whole 
series of our conduct convinces me, that we shall soon 
see as silent a change as that in " The Rehearsal," of 
King Usher and King Physician, It may well be so, 
when the disposition of the drama is in the hands of 
the Duke of Newcastle — those hands that are always 
groping and sprawling, and fluttering, and hurrying on 
the rest of his precipitate person. But there is no 
describing him but as M. Courcelle, a French prisoner, 
did t'other day: "Je ne scais pas," dit il, "je ne 
scaurois m'exprimer, mais il a un certain tatillonage." 
If one could conceive a dead body hung in chains, 
always wanting to be hung somewhere else, one should 
ave a comparative idea of him. 
For my own part, I comfort myself with the humane 
reflection of the Irishman in the ship that was on fire 
— ^I am but a passenger ! If I were not so indolent, I 
think I should rather put in practice the late Duchess 
of Bolton's geographical resolution of going to China, 
when Whiston told her the world would be burnt in 
three years. Have you any philosophy } Tell me 
hat you think. It is quite the fashion to talk of the 
bVench coming here. Nobody sees it in any other 
'ight but as a thing to be talked of, not to be pre- 
lutioned against. Don't you remember a report of 
ae plague being in the City, and everybody went to 
lie house where it was to see it '^ You see I laugh 
about it, for I would not for the world be so un- 


englished as to do otherwise. I am persuaded that 
when Count Saxe,^ with ten thousand men, is within a 
day's march of London, people will be hiring windows 
at Charing-cross and Cheapside to see them pass by, 
'Tis our characteristic to take dangers for sights, and 
evils for curiosities. 

Adieu ! dear George : I am laying in scraps of Cato 
against it may be necessary to take leave of one's 
correspondents d la Romaine, and before the play 
itself is suppressed by a lettre de cachet to the book- 

P.S. — Lord ! 'tis the first of August,- 1745, a holiday 
that is going to be turned out of the almanack ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Sept. 6, 1745. 

It would have been inexcusable in me, in our present 
circumstances, and after all I have promised you, not 
to have written to you for this last month, if I had been 
in London ; but I have been at Mount Edgecumbe, 
and so constantly upon the road, that I neither received 

your letters, had time to write, or knew what to write.j 

^ ^ ! 

' The great Mardchal Saxe, Commander-in-chief of the French ami) 
in Flanders during the war of the Austrian succession. 

* August I was the anniversary of the accession of George I. 



I came back last night, and found three packets from 
) ou, which I have no time to answer, and but just time 
to read. The confusion I have found, and the danger 
we are in, prevent my talking of anything else. The 
young Pretender, at the head of three thousand men,. 
has got a march on General Cope, who is not eighteen 
hundred strong ; and when the last accounts came 
away, was fifty miles nearer Edinburgh than Cope, and 
by this time is there. The clans will not rise for the 
Government : the Dukes of Argyll and Athol are come 
post to town, not having been able to raise a man. 
The young Duke of Gordon sent for his uncle, and 
told him he must arm their clan. " They are in arms." 
— " They must march against the rebels." — " They will 
wait on the Prince of Wales." The Duke flew in a 
passion ; his uncle pulled out a pistol, and told him it 
was in vain to dispute. Lord Loudon, Lord Fortrose, 
and Lord Panmure have been very zealous, and have 
raised some men ; but I look upon Scotland as gone [ 
1 think of what King William said to Duke Hamilton, 
when he was extolling Scotland : " My Lord, I only 
wish it was a hundred thousand miles off, and that you 
was king of it ! " 

There are two manifestoes published, signed Charles 
I'rince, Regent for his father, King of Scotland, 
1 'England, France, and Ireland. By one, he promises 
to preserve everybody in their just rights ; and orders 
all persons who have public monies in their hands to 
bring it to him ; and by the other dissolves the union 
between England and Scotland. But all this is not 
the worst! Notice came yesterday, that there are ten 

VOL. I. 6 


thousand men, thirty transports, and ten men-of-war at 
Dunkirk. Against this force we have — I don't know 
what — scarce fears ! Three thousand Dutch we hope 
are by this time landed in Scotland ; three more are 
coming hither. We have sent for ten regiments from 
Flanders, which may be here in a week, and we have 
fifteen men-of-war in the Downs. I am grieved to tell 
you all this ; but when it is so, how can I avoid telling 
you ? Your brother is just come in, who says he has 
written to you — I have not time to expiate. 

My Lady 0[rford] is arrived ; I hear she says, only 
to endeavour to o-et a certain allowance. Her mother 
has sent to offer her the use of her house. She is 
a poor weak woman. I can say nothing to Marquis 
Ricardi, nor think of him ; only tell him that I will 
when I have time. 

My sister [Lady Maria Walpole] has married her-j 
self, that is, declared she will, to young Churchill. Il 
is a foolish match ; but I have nothing to do with it 
Adieu ! my dear Sir ; excuse my haste, but you musi 
imagine that one is not much at leisure to write Ion 
letters — hope if you can ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Sept. 20, 1745. 
One really don't know what to write to you : th( 


accounts from Scotland vary perpetually, and at best 
are never very certain. I was just going to tell you 
that the rebels are in England ; but my uncle [old 
Horace] Is this moment come In, and says, that an 
express came last night with an account of their being 
at Edinburgh to the number of five thousand. This 
sounds great, to have walked through a kingdom, and 
taken possession of the capital ! But this capital is an 
open town ; and the castle impregnable, and in our 
possession. There never was so extraordinary a sort 
of rebellion ! One can't tell Vv^hat assurances of 
support they may have from the Jacobites in England, 
or from the French ; but nothing of either sort has yet 
appeared — and if there does not, never was so des- 
perate an enterprise. One can hardly believe that the 
'English are more disaffected than the Scotch ; and 
■ ong the latter, no persons of property have joined 
them : both nations seem to profess a neutrality. 
Their money is all gone, and they subsist merely by 
Tf^vylng contributions. But, sure, banditti can never 
nquer a kingdom ! On the other hand, what can- 
jnot any number of men do, who meet no opposition ? 
IThey have hitherto taken no place but open towns, nor 
., have they any artillery for a siege but one-pounders. 
1' Three battalions of Dutch are landed at Gravesend, 
'X and are ordered to Lancashire : we expect every 
moment to hear that the rest are got to Scotland ; 
none of our own are come yet. Lord Granville and 
lis faction persist In persuading the King, that it is an 
iffair of no consequence ; and for the Duke of New- 
ti!t:astle, he is glad when the rebels make any progress, 


in order to confute Lord Granville's assertions. The 
best of our situation is, our strength at sea : the 
Channel is well guarded, and twelve men-of-war more 
are arrived from Rowley. Vernon, that simple noisy 
creature, has hit upon a scheme that is of great 
service ; he has laid Folkstone cutters all round the 
coast, which are continually relieved, and bring con- \ 
stant notice of everything that stirs. I just now hear 
that the Duke of Bedford declares that he will be 
amused no longer, but will ask the King's leave to 
raise a regiment. The Duke of Montagu has a troop 
of horse ready, and the Duke of Devonshire is raising 
men in Derbyshire. The Yorkshiremen, headed by 
the Archbishop [Herring] and Lord Malton, meet the 
gentlemen of the county the day after to-morrow, to 
defend that part of England. Unless we have more | 
ill fortune than is conceivable, or the general supine- 
ness continues, it is impossible but we must get ovei 
this. You desire me to send you news : I confine my- 
self to tell you nothing but what you may depenc 
upon ; and leave you in a fright rather than deceive 
you. I confess my own apprehensions are not near sc 
strong as they were ; and if we get over this, I shal 
believe that we never can be hurt ; for we never can b( 
more exposed to danger. Whatever disaffection then 
is to the present family, it plainly does not proceec 
from love to the other. 

My Lady 0[rford] makes little progress in popuj 
larity. Neither the protection of my Lady Pomfret'i 
prudery, nor of my Lady Townshcnd's libertinism, d 
her any service. The women stare at her, think he 


ugly, awkward, and disagreeable ; and what is worse, 
the men think so too. For the height of mortification, 
the King has declared publicly to the Ministry, that he 
has been told of the great civilities which he was said 
to show to her at Hanover ; that he protests he showed 
her only the common civilities due to any English lady 
that comes thither ; that he never intended to take any 
particular notice of her ; nor had, nor would let my 
Lady Yarmouth. In fact, my Lady Yarmouth per- 
emptorily refused to carry her to court here ; and when 
she did go with my Lady Pomfret, the King but just 
spoke to her. She declares her intention of staying 
in England, and protests against all lawsuits and 
violences ; and says she only asks articles of separa- 
tion, and to have her allowance settled by any two 
arbitrators chosen by my brother and herself I have 
met her twice at my Lady Townshend's, just as I used 
at Florence. She dresses English and plays at whist. 
I forgot to tell a bon-viot of Leheup on her first coming 
over ; he was asked if he would not go and see her ? 
He replied, "No, I never visit modest women." 
Adieu ! my dear child ! I flatter myself you will 
collect hopes from this letter. 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Sept. 27, 1745. 
I can't doubt but the joy of the Jacobites has 
reached Florence before this letter. Your two or 


three Irish priests, I forget their names, will have 
set out to take possession of abbey lands here. I 
feel for what you will feel, and for the insulting 
things that will be said to you upon the battle we 
lost in Scotland ; but all this is nothing to what it 
prefaces. The express came hither on Tuesday 
morning, but the Papists knew it on Sunday night. 
Cope lay in face of the rebels all Friday ; he scarce 
two thousand strong, they vastly superior, though 
we don't know their numbers. The military people 
say that he should have attacked them. However, 
we are sadly convinced that they are not such raw 
ragamuffins as they were represented. The rotation 
that has been established in that country, to give 
all the Highlanders the benefit of serving in the 
independent com^panies, has trained and disciplined 
them. Macdonald (I suppose, he from Naples), who 
is reckoned a very experienced able officer, is said 
to have commanded them, and to be dangerously 
wounded. One does not hear the Boy's personal 
valour cried up ; by which I conclude he was not 
in the action. Our dragoons most shamefully fled 
without striking a blow, and are with Cope, who 
escaped in a boat to Berwick. I pity poor him, who 
with no shining abilities, and no experience, and no 
force, was sent to fight for a crown ! He never saw 
a battle but that of Dettingcn, where he got his red 
ribbon : Churchill, whose led-captain he was, and my 
Lord Harrington, had pushed him up to his mis- 
fortune. We have lost all our artillery, five hundred 
men taken — and three killed, and several officers, as 


vou will see in the papers. This defeat has frightened 
everybody but those it rejoices, and those it should 
frighten most ; but my Lord Granville still buoys 
up the King's spirits, and persuades him it is 
nothing. He uses his Ministers as ill as possible, 
and discourages everybody that would risk their lives 
and fortunes with him. Marshal Wade is marchinsf 
against the rebels ; but the King will not let him take 
above eight thousand men ; so that if they come into 
England, another battle, with no advantage on our 
side, may determine our fate. Indeed, they don't 
seem so unwise as to risk their cause upon so pre- 
carious an event ; but rather to design to establish 
themselves in Scotland, till they can be supported 
from France, and be set up with taking Edinburgh 
Castle, where there is to the value of a million, and 
which they would make a stronghold. It is scarcely 
victualled for a month, and must surely fall into their 
hands. Our coasts are greatly guarded, and London 
kept in awe by the arrival of the guards. I don't 
believe what I have been told this morninof, that more 
I troops are sent for from Flanders, and aid asked of 

Prince Charles has called a Parliament in Scotland 
|for the 7th of October ; ours does not meet till the 
'17th, so that even in the show of liberty and laws 
they are beforehand with us. With all this, we hear 
"t no men of quality or fortune having joined him but 
l-<>rd Elcho, whom you have seen at Florence; and 
^le Duke of Perth, a silly race-horsing boy, who is 
• lid to be killed in this battle. But I o-ather no 


confidence from hence : my father always said, "If 
you see them come again, they will begin by their 
lowest people ; their chiefs will not appear till the 
end." His prophecies verify every day! 

The town is still empty ; on this point only the 
English act contrary to their custom, for they don't 
throng to see a Parliament, though it is likely to grow 
a curiosity ! . . . 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Oct. 21, 1745. 

I HAD been almost as long without any of your 
letters as you had without mine ; but yesterday I 
received one, dated the 5th of this month, N.S. 

The rebels have not left their camp near Edin- 
burgh, and, I suppose, will not now, unless to retreat 
into the Highlands. General Wade was to march 
yesterday from Doncaster for Scotland. By their not 
advancing, I conclude that either the Boy and his 
council could not prevail on the Highlanders to leave 
their own country, or that they were not strong 
enough, and still wait for foreign assistance, which, 
in a new declaration, he intimates that he still expects. 
One only ship, I believe, a Spanish one, is got to 
them with arms, and Lord John Druiumond and some 
people of quality on board. We don't hear that the 
younger Boy is of the number. T^our ships sailed 


from Corunna ; the one that got to Scotland, one 
taken by a privateer of Bristol, and one lost on the 
Irish coast; the fourth is not heard of. At Edinburgh 
and thereabouts they commit the most horrid bar- 
barities. We last night expected as bad here : 
information was o^iven of an intended insurrection and 
massacre by the Papists ; all the Guards were ordered 
out, and the Tower shut up at seven. I cannot be 
surprised at anything, considering the supineness of 
the Ministry — nobody has yet been taken up ! 

The Parliament met on Thursday. I don't think, 
considering the crisis, that the House was very full. 
Indeed, m.any of the Scotch members cannot come if 
they would. The young Pretender had published a 
declaration, threatening to confiscate the estates of the 
Scotch that should come to Parliament, and making it 
treason for the English. The only points that have 
been before the House, the address and the sus- 
pension of the Habeas Corpus, met with obstructions 
h'om the Jacobites. By this we may expect what 
spirit they will show hereafter. With all this, I am 
far from thinking that they are so confident and 
sanoruine as their friends at Rome. I blame the 
Chutes extremely for cockading themselves : why 
lake a part, when they are only travelling ? I should 
certainly retire to Florence on this occasion. 

You may imagine how little I like our situation ; 

but I don't despair. The little use they made, or 

"uld make of their victory; their not having marched 

uito England ; their miscarriage at the Castle of Edin- 

''urgh; the arrival of our forces, and the non-arrival 


of any French or Spanish, make me conceive greaf 
hopes of getting over this ugly business. But it is 
still an affair wherein the chance of battles, or perhaps 
of one battle, may decide. 

I write you but short letters, considering the circum- 
stances of the time ; but I hate to send you para- 
graphs only to contradict them again : I still less 
choose to forge events ; and, indeed, am glad I have 
so few to tell you. f 

My Lady 0[rford] has forced herself upon her 
mother, who receives her very coolly : she talks highly 
of her demands, and quietly of her methods : the 
fruitlessness of either will, I hope, soon send her back 
— I am sorry it must be to you ! 

You mention Holdisworth : ' he has had the con- 
fidence to come and visit me within these ten days ; 
and (I suppose, from the overflowing of his joy) 
talked a great deal and quick — with as little sense as 
when he v/as more tedious. 

Since I wrote this, I hear the Countess [of Orford} 
has told her mother, that she thinks her husband the 
best of our family, and me the worst — nobody so bad, 
except you ! I don't wonder at my being so ill with 
her ; but what have you done ? or is it, that we are 
worse than anybody, because we know more of her 
than anybody does } Adieu ! 

' A nonjuror, who travelled with Mr. George Pitt. — Walpole. 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Nov. 22, 1745. 

For these two days we have been expecting news 
lof a battle. Wade marched last Saturday from New- 
castle, and must have got up with the rebels if they 
stayed for him, though the roads are exceedingly bad 
and great quantities of snow have fallen. But last 
night there was some notice of a body of rebels being 
advanced to Penryth. We were put into great spirits 
py an heroic letter from the Mayor of Carlisle, who 
nad fired on the rebels and made them retire ; he con- 
jkided with saying, " And so I think the town of 
Carlisle has done his Majesty more service than the 
^^reat city of Edinburgh, or than all Scotland together." 
But this hero, who was grown the whole fashion for 
foLir-and-twenty hours, had chosen to stop all other 
letters. The King spoke of him at his levJc with great 
iencomiums ; Lord Stair said, "Yes, sir, Mr. Patterson 
has behaved very bravely." The Duke of Bedford 
interrupted him ; " My lord, his name is not Patcrsoit ; 
that is a Scotch name ; his name is Patinson!' But, 
alack! the next day the rebels returned, having placed 
ilie women and children of the country in waggons in 
I i ' 'lit of their army, and forcing the peasants to fix the 

I ling-ladders. The great Mr. Pattinson, or Patterson 

(tor now his name maybe which one pleases), instantly 

rendered the town, and agreed to pay two thousand 



pounds to save it from pillage. Well ! then we were 
assured that the citadel could hold out seven or eight l{ 
days ; but did not so many hours. On mustering the 
militia, there were not found above four men in a ., 
company ; and for two companies, which the ministry, Y 
on a report of Lord Albemarle, who said they were to 
be sent from Wade's army, thought were there, and 
did not know were not there, there was nothing but 
two of invalids. Colonel Durand, the governor, fled, 
because he would not sign the capitulation, by which |j 
the garrison, it is said, has sworn never to bear arms 
against the house of Stuart. The Colonel sent two 
expresses, one to Wade, and another to Ligonier at 
Preston ; but the latter was playing at whist with Lord 
Harrinofton at Petersham, Such is our diliofence and 
attention ! All my hopes are in Wade, who was so 
sensible of the ignorance of our governors, that he 
refused to accept the command, till they consented that 
he should be subject to no kind of orders from hence. 
The rebels are reckoned up at thirteen thousand ; 
Wade marches with about twelve ; but if they come 
southward, the other army will probably be to fight them ; 
the Duke is to command it, and sets out next week 
with another brigade of Guards, the Ligonier under 
him. There are great apprehensions for Chester from 
the P^lintshire-men, who are ready to rise. A quarter- 
master, first sent to Carlisle, was seized and carried to 
Wade ; he behaved most insolently ; and being asked 
by the general, how many the rebels were, replied, 
" Enough to beat any army you have in England." A 
Mackintosh has been taken, who reduces their formid- 


ability, by being sent to raise two clans, and with 
orders, if they would not rise, at least to give out they 
had risen, for that three clans would leave the Preten- 
der, unless joined by those two. Five hundred new 
rebels are arrived at Perth, where our prisoners are 

I had this morning a subscription-book brought me 
for our parish ; Lord Granville had refused to sub- 
scribe. This is in the style of his friend Lord Bath, who 
has absented himself whenever any act of authority 
was to be executed against the rebels. 

Five Scotch lords are going to raise regiments ct 
r Angloise ! resident in London, while the rebels were 
in Scotland ; they are to receive military emoluments 
for their neutrality ! 

The Fox man-of-war of 20 guns is lost off Dunbar. 
One Beavor, the captain, has done us notable service : 
the Pretender sent to commend his zeal and activity, 
and to tell him, that if he would return to his allegiance, 
he should soon have a flag. Beavor replied, "He 
never treated with any but principals ; that if the Pre- 
tender would come on board him, he would talk with 
him." I must now tell you of our great Vernon : with- 
out once complaining to the Ministry, he has written 
to Sir John Philipps, a distinguished Jacobite, to com- 
plain of want of provisions ; yet they do not venture to 
recall him ! Yesterday they had another baiting from 
Pitt, who is ravenous for the place of Secretary at 
War : they would give it him ; but as a preliminary, 
he insists on a declaration of our havinqf nothing- to do 
with the continent. He mustered his forces, but did 


not notify his intention ; only at two o'clock Lyttelton 
said at the Treasury, that there would be business at 
the House. The motion was, to augment our naval 
force, which, Pitt said, was the only method of putting 
an end to the rebellion. Ships built a year hence to 
suppress an army of Highlanders, now marching 
through England ! My uncle \old Horace] attacked 
him, and congratulated his country on the wisdom of 
the modern young men ; and said he had a son of two- 
and-twenty, who, he did not doubt, would come over 
wiser than any of them. Pitt was provoked, and 
retorted on his negotiations and grey-headed &x.'^^x\^wz&. 
At those words, my uncle, as if he had been at Bar- 
tholomew fair, snatched off his wig, and showed his 
grey hairs, which made the august senate laugh, 
and put Pitt out, who, after laughing himself, 
diverted his venom upon Mr. Pelham. Upon the 
question, Pitt's party amounted but to thirty-six : in 
short, he has nothing left but his words, and his 
haughtiness, and his Lytteltons, and his Grenvilles. 
Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Dec. 9, 1745. 
I AM glad I did not write to you last post as 
intended ; I should have sent you an account that 



would have alarmed you, and the danger would have 
been over before the letter had crossed the sea. The 
Duke, from some strange want of intelligence, lay last 
week for four-and-twenty hours under arms at Stone, 
in Staffordshire, expecting the rebels every moment, 
while they were marching in all haste to Derby. The 
news of this threw the town into great consternation ; 
but his Royal Highness repaired his mistake, and got 
jto Northampton, between the Highlanders and London. 
They got nine thousand pounds at Derby, and had the 
books brought to them, and obliged everybody to give 
them what they had subscribed against them. Then 
they retreated a few miles, but returned again to 
Derby, got ten thousand pounds more, plundered the 
town, and burnt a house of the Countess of Exeter. 
They are gone again, and go back to Leake, in 
Staffordshire, but miserably harassed, and, it is said, 
have left all their cannon behind them, and twenty 
waggons of sick. The Duke has sent General Hawley 
with the dragoons to harass them in their retreat, and 
despatched Mr. Conway to Marshal Wade, to hasten 
his march upon the back of them. They must either 
go to North Wales, where they will probably all perish, 
or to Scotland, with great loss. We dread them no 
longer. We are threatened with great preparations 
for a French invasion, but the coast is exceedingly 
guarded ; and for the people, the spirit against the 
rebels increases every day. Though they have 
marched thus into the heart of the kingdom, there has 
not been the least symptom of a rising, nor even in 
the great towns of which they possessed themselves. 


They have got no recruits since their first entry into 
England, excepting one gentleman in Lancashire, one 
hundred and fifty common men, and two parsons, at 
Manchester, and a physician from York. But here in 
London, the aversion to them is amazing : on some 
thoughts of the King's going to an encampment at 
Finchley,! ^^g weavers not only offered him a thousand | 
men, but the whole body of the Law formed themselves i 
into a little army, under the command of Lord Chief : 
Justice Willes, and were to have done duty at St. j 
James's, to guard the royal family in the King's 

But the greatest demonstration of loyalty appeared 
on the prisoners being brought to town from the Soleil 
prize : the young man is certainly Mr. Radcliffe's son ; 
but the mob, persuaded of his being the youngest 
Pretender, could scarcely be restrained from tearing 
him to pieces all the way on the road, and at his 
arrival. He said he had heard of English mobs, but 
could not conceive they were so dreadful, and wished 
he had been shot at the batde of Dettingen, where 
he had been engaged. The father, whom they call 
Lord Derwentwater, said, on entering the Tower, that 
he had never expected to arrive there alive. For the 
young man, he must only be treated as a French 
captive ; for the father, it is sufficient to produce him 

' The troops which were being collected for the Duke of Cumberland, 
as soon as he should arrive from the Continent, to march with against 
the Pretender, were in the meantime encamped on Finchley Common, 
near London. The march of the Guards to the camp is the subject of 
one of lIo;-;arlh'3 bcbl pictures. 


at the Old Bailey, and prove that he is the individual 
person condemned for the last Rebellion, and so to 

We begin to take up people, but it is with as much 
caution and timidity as women of quality begin to 
pawn their jewels ; we have not ventured upon any 
great stone yet ! The Provost of Edinburgh is in 
custody of a messenger; and the other day they seized 
an odd man, who goes by the name of Count St. 
Germain. He has been here these two years, and will 
not tell who he is, or whence, but professes that he 
does not go by his right nan-^e. He sings, plays on 
the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad, and not very 
sensible. He is called an Italian, a Spaniard, a Pole ; 
a somebody that married a great fortune in Mexico, 
and ran away with her jewels to Constantinople ; a 
priest, a fiddler, a vast nobleman. The Prince of 
Wales has had unsatiated curiosity about him, but in 
vain. However, nothing has been made out against 
him ; ^ he is released ; and, what convinces me that he 
is not a gentleman, stays here, and talks of his being 
taken up for a spy. 

I think these accounts, upon which you may depend, 
must raise your spirits, and figure in Mr. Chute's loyal 

' In the beginning of the year 1755, on rumours of a great armament 
at Brest, one Virette, a Swiss, who had been a kind of toad-eater to this 
St. Germain, was denounced to Lord Holderness for a spy ; but Mr. 
Stanley going pretty surlily to his lordship, on his suspecting a friend of 
his, Virette was declared innocent, and the penitent secretary of state 
made him the amende /io?iora/>/e of a dinner in form. About the same 
time, a spy of ours was seized at Brest, but, not happening to be acquainted 
with Mr. Stanley, was broken upon the wheel. — Walpole. 

VOL. I. 7 


journal. — But you don't get my letters : I have sent 
you eleven since I came to town ; how many of these 
have you received ? Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, April 25, 1746. 

You have bid me for some time to send you good 
news — well ! I think I will. How good would you 
have it ? must it be a total victory over the rebels ;' 
with not only the Boy, that is here, killed, but the 
other, that is not here, too ; their whole army put to 
the sword, besides an infinite number of prisoners ; 
all the Jacobite estates in England confiscated, and all. 
those in Scotland — what would you have done with 
them ? — or could you be content with something mucb 
under this ? how much will you abate ? will you com- 
pound for Lord John Drummond, taken by accident : 
or for three Presbyterian parsons, who have very pooi 
livings, stoutly refusing to pay a large contribution tc 
the rebels ? Come, I will deal as well with you as ] 
can, and for once, but not to make a practice of it 
will let you have a victory ! My friend. Lord Bury 
arrived this morning from the Duke, though the new; 
was got here before him ; for, with all our victory, i 
was not thought safe to send him through the heari 
of Scotland ; so he was shipped at Inverness, withii 
an hour after the Duke entered the town, kept beating! 
at sea five days, and then put on shore at Nortl 


Berwick, from whence he came post in less than three 
days to London ; but with a fever upon him, for 
which he had been twice blooded but the day before 
the battle ; but he is young, and high in spirits, and 
I flatter myself will not suffer from this kindness of 
the Duke : the King has immediately ordered him a 
thousand pound, and I hear will make him his own 
lide-de-camp. My dear Mr. Chute, I beg your 
Kirdon ; I have forgot you have the gout, and conse- 
nuently not the same patience to wait for the battle, 
With which I, knowing the particulars, postpone it. 

On the 1 6th, the Duke, by forced marches, came 

jp with the rebels, a little on this side Inverness — 

by the way, the battle is not christened yet ; I only 

know that neither Prestonpans nor Falkirk are to be 

godfathers. The rebels, who fled from him after their 

i^ictory, and durst not attack him, when so much 

xposed to them at his passage of the Spey, now 

ptood him, they seven thousand, he ten. They broke 

through Barril's regiment, and killed Lord Robert 

Kerr, a handsome young gentleman, who was cut to 

pieces with above thirty wounds ; but they were soon 

•'■pulsed, and fled ; the whole engagement not lasting 

ibove a quarter of an hour. The young Pretender 

:scaped ; Mr. Conway says, he hears, wounded : he 

' rtainly was in the rear. They have lost above a 

liousand men in the engagement and pursuit ; and six 

umdred were already taken ; among which latter are 

h",ir French ambassador and Earl Kilmarnock. The 

i Hike of Perth and Lord Ogilvie are said to be slain ; 

I "rd Elcho was in a salivation, and not there. Except 


Lord Robert Kerr, we lost nobody of note : Sir 
Robert Rich's eldest son has lost his hand, and about 
a hundred and thirty private men fell. The defeat is 
reckoned total, and the dispersion general ; and all 
their artillery is taken. It is a brave young Duke! 
The town is all blazing round me, as I write, with 
fireworks and illuminations : I have some inclination | 
to wrap up half a dozen sky-rockets, to make you 
drink the Duke's health. Mr. Dodington, on the first 
report, came out with a very pretty illumination ; so 
pretty, that I believe he had it by him, ready for any 
occasion. . . . 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Aug. i, 1746. 

I AM this moment come from the conclusion of the 
greatest and most melancholy scene I ever yet saw! 
You will easily guess it was the Trials of the rebel Lords. 
As it was the most interesting sight, it was the most 
solemn and fine : a coronation is a puppet-show, and 
all the splendour of it idle ; but this sight at once 
feasted one's eyes and engaged all one's passions. It 
began last Monday ; three parts of Westminster Hall 
were inclosed with galleries, and hung with scarlet ; 
and the whole ceremony was conducted with the most 
awful solemnity and decency, except in the one point 
of leaving the prisoners at tlic bar, amidst the idle 


:uriosity of some crowd, and even with the witnesses 
,vho had sworn against them, while the Lords adjourned 

their own House to consult. No part of the royal 
amily was there, which was a proper regard to the 
anhappy men, who were become their victims. One 
lundred and thirty-nine Lords were present, and made 

1 noble sight on their benches frequent and fnll ! 
The Chancellor [Hardwicke] was Lord High Steward ; 
3ut though a most comely personage with a fine voice, 
lis behaviour was mean, curiously searching for occa- 
sion to bow to the minister [Mr. Pelham] that is no 
3eer, and consequently applying to the other ministers, 
n a manner, for their orders ; and not even ready at 
phe ceremonial. To the prisoners he was peevish ; 
and instead of keeping up to the humane dignity of 
:hc law of England, whose character it is to point out 
"avour to the criminal, he crossed them, and almost 
colded at any offer they made towards defence. I 
ad armed myself with all the resolution I could, with 
he thought of their crimes and of the danger past, 
ukI was assisted by the sight of the Marquis of 
Lothian in weepers for his son who fell at Culloden — 
but the first appearance of the prisoners shocked me ! 
their behaviour melted me ! Lord Kilmarnock and 

I -ord Cromartie are both past forty, but look younger. 
Lord Kilmarnock is tall and slender, with an extreme 
line person : his behaviour a most just mixture between 
li.^nity and submission ; if in anything to be repre- 
li' nded, a little affected, and his hair too exactly 
ili'fssed for a man in his situation ; but when I say 
^, it is not to find fault with him, but to show how 


little fault there was to be found. Lord Cromartie is 
an indifferent figure, appeared much dejected, and 
rather sullen : he dropped a few tears the first day, 
and swooned as soon as he got back to his cell. For 
Lord Balmerino, he is the most natural brave old 
fellow I ever saw : the highest intrepidity, even to 
indifference. At the bar he behaved like a soldier and 
a man ; at the intervals of form, with carelessness and 
humour. He pressed extremely to have his wife, his 
pretty Peggy, with him in the Tower. Lady Cro- 
martie only sees her husband through the grate, not 
choosing to be shut up with him, as she thinks she 
can serve him better by her intercession without : she 
is big with child and very handsome : so are their 
daughters. When they were to be brought from the 
Tower in separate coaches, there was some dispute in 
which the axe must go — old Balmerino cried, " Come, 
come, put it with me." At the bar, he plays with his 
fingers upon the axe, while he talks with the gentle- 
man-gaoler ; and one day somebody coming up to 
listen, he took the blade and held it like a fan between 
their faces. During the trial, a little boy was near 
him, but not tall enough to see ; he made room for the 
child and placed him near himself. 

When the trial began, the two Earls pleaded guilty ; 
Balmerino not guilty, saying he could prove his not 
being at the taking of the castle of Carlisle, as was 
laid in the indictment. Then the King's counsel 
opened, and Serjeant Skinner pronounced the most 
absurd speech imaginable ; and mentioned the Duke 
of Perth, " who," said he, " I see by the papers is 


dead." Then some witnesses were examined, whom 
afterwards the old hero shook cordially by the hand. 
The Lords withdrew to their House, and returning, 
demanded of the judges, whether one point not being 
proved, though all the rest were, the indictment was 
false ? to which they unanimously answered In the 
negative. Then the Lord High Steward asked the 
Peers severally, whether Lord Balmerino was guilty ! 
All said, "guilty upon honour," and then adjourned, 
the prisoner having begged pardon for giving them so 
much trouble. While the Lords were withdrawn, the 
Solicitor-General Murray (brother of the Pretender's 
minister) officiously and insolently went up to Lord 
Balmerino, and asked him, how he could give the 
Lords so much trouble, when his solicitor had Informed 
him that his plea could be of no use to him ? Bal- 
merino asked the bystanders who this person was ? 
and being told he said, " Oh, Mr. Murray ! I am 
extremely glad to see you ; I have been with several 
of your relations ; the good lady, your mother, was of 
great use to us at Perth." Are not you charmed with 
this speech ? how just it was ! As he went away, he 
said, " They call me Jacobite ; I am no more a Jacobite 
than any that tried me : but if the Great Mogul had 
set up his standard, I should have followed It, for I 
could not starve." The worst of his case is, that after 
the battle of Dumblain, having a company in the 
Duke of Argyll's regiment, he deserted with it to the 
rebels, and has since been pardoned. Lord Kilmar- 
nock is a Presbyterian, with four earldoms in him, but 
so poor since Lord Wilmington's stopping a pension 


that my father had given him, that he often wanted a 
dinner. Lord Cromartie was receiver of the rents of 
the King's second son in Scotland, which, it was 
understood, he should not account for ; and by that 
means had six-hundred a-year from the Government : 
Lord Elibank, a very prating, impertinent Jacobite, 
was bound for him in nine thousand pounds, for which 
the Duke is determined to sue him. 

When the Peers were going to vote, Lord Foley 
withdrew, as too well a wisher ; Lord Moray, as 
nephew of Lord Balmerino — and Lord Stair, — as, I 
believe, uncle to his great-grandfather. Lord Windsor, 
very affectedly, said, " I am sorry I must say, guilty 
upon my hojioitr!'' Lord Stamford would not answer 
to the name of Henry, having been christened Harry 
— what a great way of thinking on such an occasion \ 
I was diverted too with old Norsa, the father of my 
brother's concubine, an old Jew that kept a tavern ; 
my brother [Orford], as Auditor of the Exchequer, 
has a gallery along one whole side of the court ; I said, 
" I really feel for the prisoners ! " old Issachar replied, 
" Feel for them ! pray, if they had succeeded, what 
would have become of all tt,s ? " When my Lady 
Townsend heard her husband vote, she said, " I always 
knew my Lord was giiilty, but I never thought he 
would own it upon his honour^ Lord Balmerino said, 
that one of his reasons for pleading not guilty, was 
that so many ladies might not be disappointed of their 

On Wednesday they were again brought to West- 
minster Hall, to receive sentence; and being asked 


what they had to say, Lord Kilmarnock, with a very 
fine voice, read a very fine speech, confessing the 
extent of his crime, but offering his principles as some 
alleviation, having his eldest son (his second unluckily 
with him), in the Duke's army, fighting for the liberties 
of his cotuitry at Ctdloden, where his tuihappy father 
IS in arms to destroy them. He insisted much on 
his tenderness to the English prisoners, which some 
deny, and say that he was the man who proposed their 
being put to death, when General Stapleton urged that 
he was come to fight, but not to butcher ; and that if 
they acted any such barbarity, he would leave them 
with all his men. He very artfully mentioned Van 
Hoey's letter, and said how much he would scorn to 
owe his life to such intercession.^ Lord Cromartie 
spoke m.uch shorter, and so low, that he was not heard 
but by those who sat very near him ; but they prefer 
his speech to the other. He mentioned his misfortune 
in having drawn in his eldest son, who is prisoner with 

' In a subsequent letter Walpole attributes Lord Kilmarnock's com- 
plicity in the rebellion partly to the influence of his mother, the Countess 
of Errol, and partly to his extreme poverty. He says : " I don't know 
whether I told you that the man at the tennis-court protests that he has 
known him dine with the man that sells pamphlets at Storey's Gate; 'and,' 
says he, ' he would often have been glad if I would have taken him home 
to dinner.' He was certainly so poor, that in one of his wife's intercepted 
letters she tells him she has plagued their steward for a fortnight for 
money, and can get but three shillings." One cannot help remembering, 
Ibit CO quo vis qui zonam perdidit. And afterwards, in relating his 
execution, he mentions a report that the Duke of Cumberland charging 
him (certainly on misinformation) with having promoted the adoption of 
"a resolution taken the day before the battle of CuUoden" to put the 
English prisoners to death, "decided this unhappy man's fate " by pre- 
venting his obtaining a pardon. 


him ; and concluded with saying, "If no part of this 
bitter cup must pass from me, not mine, O God, but 
thy will be done ! " If he had pleaded not guilty, there 
was ready to be produced against him a paper signed 
with his own hand, for putting the English prisoners 
to death. 

Lord Leicester went up to the Duke of Newcastle, 
and said, " I never heard so great an orator as Lord 
Kilmarnock ? if I was your grace I would pardon him, 
and make hXm. paymaster." ^ 

That morning a paper had been sent to the lieu- 
tenant of the Tower for the prisoners ; he gave it to 
Lord Cornwallis, the governor, who carried it to the 
House of Lords. It was a plea for the prisoners, 
objecting that the late act for regulating the trials of 
rebels did not take place till after their crime was 
committed. The Lords very tenderly and rightly sent 
this plea to them, of which, as you have seen, the two 
Earls did not make use ; but old Balmerino did, and 
demanded council on it. The High Steward, almost 
in a passion, told him, that when he had been offered 
council, he did not accept it. Do but think on the 
ridicule of sending them the plea, and then denying 
them council on it ! The Duke of Newcastle, who 
never let slip an opportunity of being absurd, took it 
up as a ministerial point, in defence of his creature the 
Chancellor [Ilardvvicke] ; but Lord Granville moved, 
according to order, to adjourn to debate in the chamber 

' "/ lumild 7nakc hini payiiuistcr!'^ 'J'lic paymaslcr at this lime was 
Mr. Pill. 


of Parliament, where the Duke of Bedford and many 
others spoke warmly for their having council ; and it 
was granted. I said their, because the plea would 
have saved them all, and affected nine rebels who had 
been hanged that very morning ; particularly one 
Morgan, a poetical lawyer. Lord Balmerino asked 
for Forester and Wilbraham ; the latter a very able 
lawyer in the House of Commons, who, the Chancellor 
said privately, he was sure would as soon be hanged 
as plead such a cause. But he came as council to-day 
(the third day), when Lord Balmerino gave up his 
plea as invalid, and submitted, without any speech. 
The High Steward [Hardwicke] then made his, very 
long and very poor, with only one or two good 
passages ; and then pronounced sentence ! 

Great intercession is made for the two Earls : Duke 
Hamilton, who has never been at Court, designs to 
kiss the King's hand, and ask Lord Kilmarnock's life. 
The King is much inclined to some mercy ; but the 
Duke, who has not so much of Caesar after a victory, 
as in gaining it, is for the utmost severity. It was 
lately proposed in the city to present him with the 
freedom of some company ; one of the aldermen said 
aloud, " Then let it be of the Butchers I " ^ The Scotch 
and his Royal Highness are not at all guarded in their 
expressions of each other. When he went to Edin- 

' "The Duke," says Sir Walter Scott, "was received with all the 
honours due to conquest ; and all the incorporated bodies of the capital, 
from the (iuild brethren to the Butchers, desired tlie acceptance of the 
freedom of their craft, or corporation." Billy the Butcher was one of his 


burgh, in his pursuit of the rebels, they would not 
admit his guards, alleging that it was contrary to their 
privileges ; but they rode in, sword in hand ; and the 
Duke, very justly incensed, refused to see any of the 
magistrates. He came with the utmost expedition to 
town, in order for Flanders ; but found that the Court 
of Vienna had already sent Prince Charles thither, 
without the least notification, at which both King and 
Duke are greatly offended. When the latter waited 
on his brother, the Prince carried him into a room that 
hangs over the wall of St. James's Park, and stood 
there with his arm about his neck, to charm the gazing 

Murray, the Pretender's secretary, has made ample 
confessions : the Earl of Traquair, and Mr. Barry, a 
physician, are apprehended, and more warrants are 
out ; so much for rebels ! Your friend, Lord Sand- 
wich, is instantly going ambassador to Holland, to 
pray the Dutch to build more ships. I have received 
yours of July 19th, but you see have no more room 
left, only to say, that I conceive a good idea of my 
eagle, though the seal is a bad one. Adieu ! 

P.S. — I have not room to say anything to the Tesi 
till next post ; but, unless she will sing gratis, would 
advise her to drop this thought. 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Oct. 14, 1746. 

You will have been alarmed with the news of 
another battle lost in Flanders, where we have no 
Kings of Sardinia. We make light of it ; do not 
allow it to be a battle, but call it " the action near 
Lieofe." Then we have whittled down our loss 
extremely, and will not allow a man more than three 
hundred and fifty English slain out of the four 
thousand. The whole of it, as it appears to me, is, 
that we gave up eight battalions to avoid fighting ; as 
at Newmarket people pay their forfeit when they fore- 
see they should lose the race ; though, if the whole 
army had fought, and we had lost the day, one might 
have hoped to have come off for eight battalions. 
Then they tell you that the French had four-and- 
twenty-pounders, and that they must beat us by the 
superiority of their cannon ; so that to me it is grown 
a paradox, to war with a nation who have a mathe- 
matical certainty of beating you ; or else it is still a 
stranger paradox, why you cannot have as large cannon 
as the French.^ This loss was balanced by a pompous 

' Marshal Saxe had inspired his army with confidence that a day of 
battle was sure to be a day of victory, as was shown by the theatrical 
•company which accompanied the camp. After the performance on the 
evening of October loth the leading actress announced that there would 
be no performance on the morrow, because there was to be a battle, but 
on the 1 2th the company would have the honour of presenting "The 
Village Clock." (See the Editor's " France under the Bourbons," iii. 26.) 


account of the triumphs of our invasion of Bretagne ; 
which, in plain terms, I think, is reduced to burning 
two or three villages and reimbarking : at least, two or 
three of the transports are returned with this history, 
and know not what is become of Lestock and the rest 
of the invasion. The young Pretender is landed in 
France, with thirty Scotch, but in such a wretched 
condition that his Highland Highness had no breeches. 

I have received yours of the 27th of last month, 
with the capitulation of Genoa, and the kind conduct 
of the Austrians to us their allies, so extremely like 
their behaviour whenever they are fortunate. Pray, 
by the way, has there been any talk of my cousin, the 
Commodore, being blameable in letting slip some 
Spanish ships ? — don't mention it as from me, but there 
are whispers of court-martial on him. They are all 
the fashion now ; if you miss a post to me, I will have 
you tried by a court-martial. Cope is come off most 
gloriously, his courage ascertained, and even his con- 
duct, which everybody had given up, justified. Folkes 
and Lascelles, two of his generals, are come off too ; 
but not so happily in the opinion of the world. 
Oglethorpe's sentence is not yet public, but it is 
believed not to be favourable. He was always a 
bully, and is now tried for cowardice. Some little 
dash of the same sort is likely to mingle with the 
judgment on il furibondo Matthews; though his party 
rises again a little, and Lestock's acquittal begins to 
pass for a party affair. In short, we are a wretched 
people, and have seen our best days ! 

I must have lost a letter, if you really told me of 


the sale of the Duke of Modena's pictures, as you 
think you did ; for when Mr. Chute told it me, it struck 
me as quite new. They are out of town, good souls ; 
and I shall not see them this fortnight ; for I am here 
only for two or three days, to inquire after the battle, 
in which not one of my friends were. Adieu ! 


To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 

Windsor, Oct. 24, 1746. 

Well, Harry, Scotland is the last place on earth 
I should have thought of for turning anybody poet : 
but I begin to forgive it half its treasons in favour of 
your verses, for I suppose you don't think I am the 
dupe of the Highland story that you tell me : the only 
use I shall make of it is to commend the lines to you, 
as if they really were a Scotchman's. There is a 
melancholy harmony in them that is charming, and a 
delicacy in the thoughts that no Scotchman is capable 
of, though a Scotchwoman might inspire it.^ I beg, 

' Walpole could not foresee the genius of Burns, that before his own 
death was to shed such glory on Scotland. His compliment to a Scotch- 
woman was an allusion to Lady Aylesbury {m'c Miss Caroline Campbell), 
whom Conway married after her husband's death, which took place a few 
months after the date of this letter. Lady Aylesbury was no poetess, but 
his estimate of what might be accomplished by Scotch ladies was after- 
wards fully borne out by Lady Anne Lindsay, the authoress of " Auld 
Robin Gray," and Lady Nairn. 


both for Cynthia's sake and my own, that you would 
continue your De Tristibus till I have an opportunity 
of seeing your muse, and she of rewarding her : Reprens 
ta musette, berger amoureitx ! If Cynthia has ever 
travelled ten miles in fairy-land, she must be wondrous 
content with the person and qualifications of her 
knight, who in future story will be read of thus : 
Elmedorus was tall and perfectly well made, his face 
oval, and features regularly handsome, but not effemi- 
nate ; his complexion sentimentally brown, with not 
much colour ; his teeth fine, and forehead agreeably 
low, round which his black hair curled naturally and 
beautifully. His eyes were black too, but had nothing 
of fierce or insolent ; on the contrary, a certain melan- 
choly swimmingness, that described hopeless love 
rather than a natural amorous languish. His exploits 
in war, where he always fought by the side of the 
renowned Paladine William of England, have endeared 
his memory to all admirers of true chivalry, as the 
mournful elegies which he poured out among the 
desert rocks of Caledonia in honour of the peerless 
lady and his heart's idol, the incomparable Cynthia, 
will for ever preserve his name in the flowery annals 
of poesy. 

What a pity It is I was not born in the golden age 
of Louis the Fourteenth, when it was not only the 
fashion to write folios, but to read them too ! or rather, 
it is a pity the same fashion don't subsist now, when 
one need not be at the trouble of invention, nor of 
turning the whole Roman history into romance for 
want of proper heroes. Your campaign in Scotland, 


rolled out and well be-epitheted, would make a pompous 
work, and make one's fortune ; at sixpence a number, 
one should have all the damsels within the liberties 
for subscribers : whereas now, if one has a mind to be 
read, one must write metaphysical poems in blank 
Averse, which, though I own to be still easier, have not 
half the imagination of romances, and are dull without 
iny agreeable absurdity. Only think of the gravity of 
this wise age, that have exploded " Cleopatra and 
Pharamond," and approve " The Pleasures of the 
Imagination," "The Art of Preserving Health," and 
' Leonidas ! " I beg the age's pardon: it has done 
ipproving these poems, and has forgot them. 

Adieu ! dear Harry. Thank you seriously for the 
poem. I am going to town for the birth-day, and 
jhall return hither till the Parliament meets ; I suppose 
:here is no doubt of our meeting then. 

Yours ever, 

P.S. — Now you are at Stirling, if you should meet 
Arith Drummond's History of the five King Jameses, 
Dray look it over, I have lately read it, and like it 
Tiuch. It is wrote in imitation of Livy ; the style 
iiasculine, and the whole very sensible ; only he 
iscribes the misfortunes of one reiofn to the then kins^'s 
oving architecture and 

In trim gardens taking pleasure. 

VOL. I. 



To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 

Twickenham, June 8, 1747. 

You perceive by my date that I am got into a new 
camp, and have left my tub at Windsor. It is a little 
plaything-house that I got out of Mrs. Chenevix's 
shop, and is the prettiest bauble you ever saw. It is 
set in enamelled meadows, with filigree hedges : 

A small Euphrates through the piece is roll'd, 
And little finches wave their wings in gold. 

Two delightful roads, that you would call dusty, supply 
me continually with coaches and chaises : barges as 
solemn as Barons of the Exchequer move under my 
window ; Richmond Hill and Ham walks bound myi 
prospect ; but, thank God ! the Thames is between 
me and the Duchess of Oueensberry. Dowagers as 
plenty as flounders inhabit all around, and Pope's 
ghost is just now skimming under my window by a 
most poetical moonlight. I have about land enough 
to keep such a farm as Noah's, when he set up in the 
ark with a pair of each kind ; but my cottage is rather 
cleaner than I believe his was after they had been 
cooped up together forty days. The Chenevixes had 
tricked it out for themselves : up two pair of stairs is 
what they call Mr. Chenevix's library, furnished with 
three maps, one shelf, a bust of Sir Isaac Newton, and 
a lame telescope without any glasses. Lord John 
Sackville pi'-edecessed me here, and instituted certain 


games called cricketalia, which have been celebrated 
this very evening in honour of him in a neighbouring 

You will think I have removed my philosophy from 
Windsor with my tea-things hither ; for I am writing 
to you in all this tranquillity, while a Parliament is 
bursting about my ears. You know it is going to be 
dissolved : I am told, you are taken care of, though I 
don't know where, nor whether anybody that chooses 
you will quarrel with me because he does choose you, 
as that little bug the Marquis of Rockingham did ; 
one of the calamities of my life which I have bore as 
abominally well as I do most about which I don't care. 
They say the Prince has taken up two hundred 
thousand pounds, to carry elections which he won't 
carry : — he had much better have saved it to buy the 
Parliament after it is chosen. A new set of peers are 
in embryo, to add more dignity to the silence of the 
House of Lords. 

I made no remarks on your campaign, because, as 
you say, you do nothing at all ; which, though very 
proper nutriment for a thinking head, does not do quite 
so well to write upon. If any one of you can but 
contrive to be shot upon your post, it is all we desire, 
shall look upon it as a great curiosity, and will take 
care to set up a monument to the person so slain ; as 
we are doing by vote to Captain Cornewall, who was 
killed at the beeinnincf of the action in the Mediter- 
ranean four years ago. In the present dearth of 
glory, he is canonized ; though, poor man ! he had 
been tried twice the year before for cowardice. 



I could tell you much election news, none else ; 
though not being thoroughly attentive to so important 
a subject, as to be sure one ought to be, I might now 
and then mistake, and give you a candidate for Durham 
in place of one for Southampton, or name the returning 
officer instead of the candidate. In general, I believe, 
it is much as usual — those sold in detail that afterwards 
will be sold in the representation — the ministers bribing 
Jacobites to choose friends of their own — the name of 
well-wishers to the present establishment, and patriots 
outbidding ministers that they may make the better 
market of their own patriotism : — in short, all England, 
under some name or other, is just now to be bought 
and sold ; though, whenever we become posterity and 
forefathers, we shall be in high repute for wisdom and 
virtue. My great-great-grandchildren will figure me 
with a white beard down to my girdle ; and Mr. Pitt's 
will believe him unspotted enough to have walked over 
nine hundred hot ploughshares, without hurting the 
sole of his foot. How merry my ghost will be, and 
shake its ears to hear itself quoted as a person of 
consummate prudence! Adieu, dear Harry ! 

Yours ever. 



To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 

Strawberry Hill, Aug. 29, 1748. 

Dear Harry, — Whatever you may think, a campaign 
at Twickenham furnishes as little matter for a letter as 
an abortive one in Flanders. I can't say indeed that 
my generals wear black wigs, but they have long full- 
bottomed hoods which cover as little entertainment to 
the full. 

There's General my Lady Castlecomer, and General 
p.iy Lady Dowager Ferris ! Why, do you think I can 
extract more out of them than you can out of Hawley 
'tr Honeywood ? Your old women dress, go to the 
Duke's levee, see that the soldiers cock their hats 
right, sleep after dinner, and soak with their led- 
captains till bed-time, and tell a thousand lies of what 
they never did in their youth. Change hats for head- 
clothes, the rounds for visits, and led-captains for toad- 
iters, and the life is the very same. In short, these 
are the people I live in the midst of, though not with ; 
and it is for want of more important histories that I 
have wrote to you seldom ; not, I give you my word, 
from the least negligence. My present and sole occu- 
pation is planting, in which I have made great progress 
and talked very learnedly with the nurserymen, except 
that now and then a lettuce run to seed overturns all 
my botany, as I have more than once taken it for a 
curious West Indian flowering shrub. Then the de- 


liberation with which trees grow, is extremely incon- 
venient to my natural impatience. I lament living in 
so barbarous an age, when we are come to so little per- 
fection in gardening. I am persuaded that a hundred 
and fifty years hence it will be as common to remove 
oaks a hundred and fifty years old, as it is now to 
transplant tulip roots. ^ I have even begun a treatise or 
panegyric on the great discoveries made by posterity 
in all arts and sciences, wherein I shall particularly 
descant on the great and cheap convenience of making 
trout-rivers — one of the improvements which Mrs. 
Kerwood wondered Mr. Hedo-es would not make at 
his country-house, but which was not then quite so 
common as it will be. I shall talk of a secret for roast- 
ing a wild boar and a whole pack of hounds alive, 
without hurting them, so that the whole chase may be 
brought up to table ; and for this secret, the Duke of 
Newcastle's grandson, if he can ever get a son, is to 
give a hundred thousand pounds. Then the delight- 
fulness of having whole groves of humming-birds, tame 
tigers taught to fetch and carry, pocket spying-glasses 

' It is worth noting that these predictions that " it will be common to 
remove oaks a hundred and fifty years old " has been verified many years 
since ; at least, if not in the case of oaks, in that of large elms and ash- 
trees. In 1850 Mr. Paxton offered to a Committee of the House of 
Commons to undertake to remove the large elm which was standing or. 
the ground proposed for the Crystal Palace of the Exhibition of 1S51. 
and his master, the Duke of Devonshire, has since that time removcil 
many trees of very large size from one part of his grounds to another ; 
and similarly the " making of trout-rivers" has been carried out in many 
places, even in our most distant colonics, by Mr. Buckland's method ol 
raising the young fish from roe in boxes and distributing them in place- 
where they were needed. 


to see all that is doing in China, with a thousand other 
toys, which we now look upon as impracticable, and 
which pert posterity would laugh in one's face for 
staring at, while they are offering rewards for perfect- 
ing discoveries, of the principles of which we have not 
the least conception ! If ever this book should come 
forth, I must expect to have all the learned in arms 
against me, who measure all knowledge backward : 
some of them have discovered symptoms of all arts in 
Homer ; and Pineda,^ had so much faith in the accom- 
plishments of his ancestors, that he believed Adam 
understood all sciences but politics. But as these great 
champions for our forefathers are dead, and Boileau 
not alive to hitch me into a verse with Perrault, I am 
determined to admire the learning of posterity, 
especially being convinced that half our present know- 
ledge sprung from discovering the errors of what had 
formerly been called so. I don't think I shall ever 
make any great discoveries myself, and therefore shall 
be content to propose them to my descendants, like 
my Lord Bacon, 2 who, as Dr. Shaw says very prettily 

' Pineda was a Spanish Jesuit of the seventeenth century, and a 
voluminous writer. 

" It is a singular thing that this most eminent man should be so 
constantly spoken of by a title which he never had. His first title 
in the peerage was Baron Verulam ; his second, on a subsequent pro- 
motion, was Viscount St. Albans ; yet the error is as old as Dryden, 
and is defended by Lord Macaulay in a sentence of pre-eminent absurdity : 
" Posterity has felt that the greatest of English philosophers could derive 
no accession of dignity from any title which power could bestow, and, in 
defiance of letters-patent, has obstinately refused to degrade Francis 
Bacon into Viscount St. Albans." But, without stopping to discuss the 
propriety of representing a British peerage, honestly earned, and, in his 
case as Lord Chancellor, necessarily conferred, as a "degradation," the 


in his preface to Boyle, "had the art of inventing arts:" 
or rather like a Marquis of Worcester, of whom I have 
seen a little book which he calls "A Century of Inven- 
tions,"^ where he has set down a hundred machines to 
do impossibilities with, and not a single direction how 
to make the machines themselves. 

If I happen to be less punctual in my correspon- 
dence than I intend to be, you must conclude I am 
writing my book, which being designed for a panegyric, 
will cost me a great deal of trouble. The dedication 
with your leave, shall be addressed to your son that is 
coming, or, with Lady Ailesbury's leave, to your ninth 
son, who will be unborn nearer to the time I am writing 
of ; always provided that she does not bring three at 
once, like my Lady Berkeley. 

Well ! I have here set you the example of writing 
nonsense when one has nothing to say, and shall take 
it ill if you don't keep up the correspondence on the 
same foot. Adieu ! 

mistake made is not that of continuing to call him Francis Bacon, a 
name by which at one time he was known, but that of calling him 
" Lord Bacon," a title by which he was never known for a single moment 
in his lifetime ; while, if a great philosopher was really "degraded" by 
a peerage, it is hard to see how the degradation would have been 
lessened by the title being Lord Bacon, which it was not, rather tlian 
Viscount St. Albans, which it was. 

' The "Biographic Universelle " (art. Neiucoiiien) says of the Mar- 
quis : " Longtemps avant lui [Neucomen] on avait remarqud la grande 
force expansive de la vapeur, et on avait imagine de I'employer comma 
puissance. On trouvc deja cctte application propos(5c et mcme executive 
dans un ouvrage public en 1663, par le Marquis dc Worcester, sous le 
titre bizarre, 'A Century of Inventions.'" 





To Sir Horace Manx. 

Strawberry Hill, May 3, 1749. 
I AM come hither for a few days, to repose myself 
; after a torrent of diversions, and am writing to you In 
'my charming bow-window with a tranquilHty and satis- 
faction which, I fear, I am grown old enough to prefer 
to the hurry of amusements, in which the whole world 
has lived for this last week. We have at last cele- 
brated the Peace, and that as much in extremes as we 
generally do everything, whether we have reason to be 
^dad or sorry, pleased or angry. Last Tuesday it was 
proclaimed : the King did not go to St. Paul's, but at 
night the whole town was illuminated. The next day 
was what was called " a jubilee-masquerade in the 
\^enetian manner " at Ranelagh : it had nothing 
\ enetian in it, but was by far the best understood and 
the prettiest spectacle I ever saw : nothing in a fairy 
tale ever surpassed it. One of the proprietors, who is 
:i German, and belongs to Court, had got my Lady 
Yarmouth to persuade the King to order it. It began 
at three o'clock, and, about five, people of fashion 
licgan to go. When you entered, you found the whole 
garden filled with masks and spread with tents, which 
remained all night very comviodcly. In one quarter, 
was a May-pole dressed with garlands, and people 
dancing round it to a tabor and pipe and rustic music. 


all masqued, as were all the various bands of music 
that were disposed in different parts of the garden ; 
some like huntsmen with French horns, some like 
peasants, and a troop of harlequins and scaramouches 
in the little open temple on the mount. On the canal 
was a sort of gondola, adorned with flags and 
streamers, and filled with music, rowing about. All 
round the outside of the amphitheatre were shops, filled 
with Dresden china, japan, &c., and all the shop- 
keepers in mask. The amphitheatre was illuminated ; 
and in the middle was a circular bower, composed of 
all kinds of firs in tubs, from twenty to thirty feet high: 
under them orange-trees, with small lamps in each 
orange, and below them all sorts of the finest auriculas 
in pots ; and festoons of natural flowers hanging from 
tree to tree. Between the arches too were firs, and 
smaller ones in the balconies above. There were 
booths for tea and wine, gaming-tables and dancing, 
and about two thousand persons. In short, it pleased 
me more than anything I ever saw. It is to be once 
more, and probably finer as to dresses, as there has 
since been a subscription masquerade, and people will 
go in their rich habits. The next day were the fire- 
works, which by no means answered the expense, the 
length of preparation, and the expectation that had 
been raised ; indeed, for a week before, the town was 
like a country fair, the streets filled from morning to 
night, scaffolds building wherever you could or could 
not see, and coaches arriving from every corner of the 
kingdom. This hurry and lively scene, with the sight 
of the iinmense crowd in the Park and on every house, 


the guards, and the machine Itself, which was very 
beautiful, was all that was worth seeing. The rockets, 
and whatever was thrown up into the air, succeeded 
mighty well ; but the wheels, and all that was to com- 
pose the principal part, were pitiful and ill-conducted, 
with no changes of coloured fires and shapes : the 
illumination was mean, and lighted so slowly that 
scarce anybody had patience to wait the finishing ; 
and then, what contributed to the awkwardness of the 
whole, was the right pavilion catching fire, and being 
burnt down in the middle of the show. The King, the 
Duke, and Princess Emily saw it from the Library, 
with their courts : the Prince and Princess, with their 
•children, from Lady Middlesex's ; no place being pro- 
vided for them, nor any invitation given to the library. 
The Lords and Commons had galleries built for them 
and the chief citizens along the rails of the Mall : the 
Lords had four tickets a-piece, and each Commoner, 
at first, but two, till the Speaker bounced and obtained 
a third. Very little mischief was done, and but two 
persons killed : at Paris, there were forty killed and 
near three hundred wounded, by a dispute between the 
French and Italians in the management, who, quarrel- 
ling for precedence in lighting the fires, both lighted at 
once and blew up the whole. Our mob was extremely 
tranquil, and very unlike those I remember in my 
father's time, when it was a measure in the Opposition 
to work up everything to mischief, the Excise and the 
French players, the Convention and the Gin Act. We 
are as much now in the opposite extreme, and in 
general so pleased with the peace, that I could not 


help being struck with a passage I read lately in 
Pasquier, an old French author, who says, " that in 
the time of Francis I. the French used to call their 
creditors ' Des Anglois,' from the facility with which 
the English gave credit to them in all treaties, though 
they had broken so many." On Saturday we had a 
serenta at the Opera-house, called Peace in Europe, 
but it was a wretched performance. On Monday there 
was a subscription masquerade, much fuller than that of 
last year, but not so agreeable or so various in dresses. 
The King was well disguised in an old-fashioned 
English habit, and much pleased with somebody who 
desired him to hold their cup as they were drinking 
tea. The Duke had a dress of the same kind, but was so 
immensely corpulent that he looked like Cacofogo, the 
drunken captain, in " Rule a Wife and have a Wife." 
The Duchess of Richmond was a Lady Mayoress in the 
time of James I.; and Lord Delawarr, Queen Eliza- 
beth's porter, from a picture in the guard-chamber at 
Kensington : they were admirable masks. Lord Roch- 
ford, Miss Evelyn, Miss Bishop, Lady Stafford, and 
Mrs. Pitt, were in vast beauty ; particularly the last, 
who had a red veil, which made her look gloriously 
handsome. I forgot Lady Kildare. Mr. Conway was 
the Duke in " Don Quixote," and the finest figure I ever 
saw. Miss Chudleigh was Iphigenia, but so naked that 
you would have taken her for Andromeda ; and Lady 
Betty Smithson [Seymour] had such a pyramid of 
baubles upon her head, that she was exactly the 
Princess of Babylon in Grammont. 

You will conclude that, after all these diversions, 


; -dople begin to think of going out of town — no such 
matter : the Padiament continues sitting, and will till 
the middle of June ; Lord Egmont told us we should 
sit till Michaelmas. There are many priv^ate bills, no 
public ones of any fame. We were to have had some 
chastisement for Oxford, where, besides the late riots, 
the famous Dr. King,i the Pretender's great agent, 
made a most violent speech at the opening of the Rat- 
cliffe Library. The ministry denounced judgment, but, 
in their old style, have grown frightened, and dropped 
it. However, this menace gave occasion to a meeting 
and union between the Prince's party and the Jacobites 
which Lord Egmont has been labouring all the winter. 
They met at the St. Alban's tavern, near Pall Mall, 
hist Monday morning, a hundred and twelve Lords 
and Commoners. The Duke of Beaufort opened the 
issembly with a panegyric on the stand that had been 
made this winter against so corrupt an administration, 
and hoped it would continue, and desired harmony. 
Lord Egmont seconded this strongly, and begged they 
would come up to Parliament early next winter. Lord 
* Oxford spoke next; and then Potter with great 
himiour, and to the great abashment of the Jacobites, 
Said he was very glad to see this union, and from 
ihcnce hoped, that if another attack like the last Re- 
bellion should be made on the Royal Family, they 
would all stand by them. No reply was made to this. 
Then Sir Watkyn Williams spoke, Sir Francis Dash- 

' Dr. King was Principal of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, and one of the 
chief supports of the Jacobite party after 1745. 


wood/ and Tom Pitt, and the meeting broke up. I 
don't know what this coaHtion may produce : it will 
require time with no better heads than compose it at 
present, though the great Mr. Dodington had carried 
to the conference the assistance of his. In France a 
very favourable event has happened for us, the dis- 
grace of Maurepas,- one of our bitterest enemies, and 
the greatest promoter of their marine. Just at the 
beginning of the war, in a very critical period, he had 
obtained a very large sum for that service, but which 
one of the other factions, lest he should gain glory and 
credit by it, got to be suddenly given away to the 
King of Prussia. 

Sir Charles Williams 3 is appointed envoy to this last 
King : here is an epigram which he has just sent over 
on Lord Egmont's opposition to the Mutiny Bill : 

' Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1761, through the influence of the 
Earl of Bute. He was the owner of Medmenham Abbey, on the Thames, 
and as such, the President of the profligate Club whose doings were 
made notorious by the proceedings against Wilkes, and who, in com- 
pliment to him, called themselves the Franciscans. 

^ The Comte de Maurepas was the grandson of the Chancellor of 
France, M. de Pontchartrain. When only fourteen years old Louis 
had made him Secretary of State for the Marine, as a consolation to 
his grandfather for his dismissal ; and he continued in office till the 
accession of Louis XVL, when he was appointed Prime Minister. He 
was not a man of any statesmanlike ability ; but Lacretelle ascribes to 
him "les graces d'un esprit aimable et frivole qui avait le don d'amuser 
un vieillard toujours portd \ un elegant badinage" (ii. 53); and in a sub- 
subsequent letter speaks of him as a man of very lively powers of 

^ Sir Charles Hanbury Williams had represented Monmouth in Par- 
liament, but in 1744 was sent as ambassador to Berlin, and from thence 
to St. Petersburg. He was more celebrated in the fashionable world as 
the author of lyrical odes of a lively character. 


Why has Lord Egmont 'gainst this bill 
So much declamatory skill 

So tediously exerted ? 
The reason's plain : but t'other day 
He mutinied himself for pay, 

And he has twice deserted. 

I must tell you a bon-inot that was made the other 
night at the serenata of " Peace In Europe " by Wall,i 
who is much in fashion, and a kind of Gondomar. 
Grossatesta, the Modenese minister, a very low fellow, 
with all the jackpuddinghood of an Italian, asked, 
" Mais qui est ce qui represente mon maitre ? " Wall 
replied, " Mais, mon Dieu ! L'abbe, ne scavez vous pas 
que ce n'est pas un opera boufon?" and here is another 
Iwn-mot of my Lady Townshend : we were talking of 
Methodists ; somebody said, " Pray, Madam, is it true 
that Whitfield- has recanted?'' " No, sir, he has only 
canted y 

If you ever think of returning to England, as I hope 
it will be long first, you must prepare yourself with 
^Methodism. I really believe that by that time it will 
be necessary : this sect increases as fast as almost ever 
any religious nonsense did. Lady Fanny Shirley has 
chosen this way of bestowing the dregs of her beauty ; 
and Mr. Lyttelton is very near making the same sacri- 

' General Wall was the Spanish ambassador, as Gondomar had been 
in the reign of James I. 

'•■ Whitefield, while an undergraduate at Oxford, joined Wesley, who 

ul recently founded a sect which soon became known as the Metho- 
i^ls. But, after a time, Whitefield, who was of a less moderate temper 

an Wesley, adopted the views known as Calvinistic, and, breaking ofl' 
irom the Wcsleyans, established a sect more rigid and less friendly to the 


fice of the dregs of all those various characters that he 
has worn. The Methodists love your big sinners, as 
proper subjects to work upon — and indeed they have a 
plentiful harvest — I think what you call flagrancy was 
never more in fashion. Drinking is at the highest 
wine-mark ; and gaming joined with it so violent, that 
at the last Newmarket meeting, in the rapidity of both, 
a bank-bill was thrown down, and nobody immediately 
claiming it, they agreed to give it to a man that was 
standing by, . . . 


To Sir Horace Mann. 
Arlington Street, March ii, 1750. 

Portents and prodigies are grown so frequent. 
That they have lost their name. 

My text is not literally true ; but as far as earth- 
quakes go towards lowering the price of wonderful 
commodities, to be sure we are overstocked. We 
have had a second, much more violent than the first ; 
and you must not be surprised If by next post you 
hear of a burning mountain sprung up in Smithfiekl 
In the night between Wednesday and Thursday last 
(exactly a month since the first shock), the earth had a 
shivering fit between one and two ; but so slight that, 
if no more had followed, I don't believe it would have 
been noticed. I liad been awake, and had scarce 


dozed again — on a sudden I felt my bolster lift up my 
head ; I thought somebody was getting from under my 
I'ed, but soon found it was a strong earthquake, that 
lasted near half a minute, with a violent vibration and 
great roaring. I rang my bell ; my servant came in, 
frightened out of his senses : in an instant we heard 
all the windows in the neighbourhood flung up. I got 
lip and found people running into the streets, but saw 
no mischief done : there has been some ; two old 
houses flung down, several chimneys, and much china- 
ware. The bells rungf in several houses. Admiral 
Knowles, who has lived long in Jamaica, and felt 
seven there, says this was more violent than any of 
them : Francesco prefers it to the dreadful one at 
Leghorn. The wise say,^ that if we have not rain 
soon, we shall certainly have more. Several people 
are going out of town, for it has nowhere reached 
above ten miles from London : they say, they are not 
frightened, but that it is such fine weather, " Lord ! 
one can't help going into the country ! " The only 
visible effect it has had, was on the Ridotto, at which, 
being the following night, there were but four hundred 
people. A parson, who came into White's the morning 
of earthquake the first, and heard bets laid on whether 
it was an earthquake or the blowing up of powder 
mills, went away exceedingly scandalized, and said, " I 
protest, they are such an impious set of people, that I 
believe if the last trumpet was to sound, they would 
bet puppet-show against Judgment." If we get any 

■ In an earlier letter Walpole mentions that Sir I. Newton had fore- 
told a great alteration in the English climate in 175c. 

VOL. I. 


nearer still to the torrid zone, I shall pique myself on 
sending you a present of cedrati and orange-flower 
water : I am already planning a terreno for Strawberry 

The Middlesex election Is carried against the Court: 
the Prince, in a green frock (and I won't swear, but in 
a Scotch plaid waistcoat), sat under the Park-wall in 
his chair, and hallooed the voters on to Brentford. 
The Jacobites are so transported, that they are opening 
subscriptions for all boroughs that shall be vacant — 
this is wise ! They will spend their money to carry a 
few more seats in a Parliament where they will never 
have the majority, and so have none to carry the 
general elections. The omen, however, is bad for 
Westminster; the High Bailiff went to vote for the 

I now jump to another topic ; I find all this letter 
w^ill be detached scraps ; I can't at all contrive to hide 
the seams : but I don't care. I began my letter merely 
to tell you of the earthquake, and I don't pique myself 
upon doing any more than telling you what you would 
be glad to have told you. I told you too how pleased 
I was with the triumphs of another old beauty, our 
friend the Princess. Do you know, I have found a 
history that has great resemblance to hers ; that is, that 
will be very like hers, if hers is but like it. I will tell ii 
you in as few words as I can. Madame la Marechal* 
I'Hopital was the daughter of a seamstress ; a youn- 
gentleman fell in love with her, and was going to U 
married to her, but the match was broken off. ArJ 
old fermier-general, who had retired into the province 


where this happened, hearing the story, had a curiosity 
see the victim ; he Hked her, married her, died, and 
eft her enough not to care for her inconstant. She came 
to Paris, where the Marechal de I'Hopital married her 
for her riches. After the Marechal's death, Casimir, 
;he abdicated King of Poland, who was retired into 
France, fell in love with the Marechale, and privately 
Tiarried her. If the event ever happens, I shall 
zertainly travel to Nancy, to hear her talk of ma belle 
fille la Reine de France. What pains my Lady 
Pomfret would take to prove that an abdicated King's 
wife did not take place of an English countess ; and 
low the Princess herself would grow still fonder of the 
Pretender for the similitude of his fortune with that of 
'■: Roi mon inari ! Her daughter, Mirepoix, was 
Tightened the other night, with Mrs. Nugent's calling 
Dut, un volcur ! un voleur ! The ambassadress had 
heard so much of robbing, that she did not doubt but 
.'j- ce pais cy, they robbed in the middle of an 
. ..^embly. It turned out to be a thief in the candle I 
'ood night ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, ^/r// 2, 1750. 
You will not wonder so much at our earthquakes as 



at the effects they have had. All the women in town 
have taken them up upon the foot of ytidginents ; and 
the clergy, who have had no Vv'indfalls of a long season, 
have driven horse and foot into this opinion. There 
has been a shower of sermons and exhortations : 
Seeker, the Jesuitical Bishop of Oxford, began the 
mode. He heard the women were all going out of 
town to avoid the next shock ; and so, for fear of losing 
his Easter offerings, he set himself to advise them to 
avrait God's good pleasure in fear and trembling. But 
what is more astonishing, Sherlock, who has much 
better sense, and much less of the Popish confessor, 
has been running a race with him for the old ladies, 
and has written a pastoral letter, of which ten 
thousand were sold in two days ; and fifty thou- 
sand have been subscribed for, since the two first 

I told you the women talked of going out of town : 
several families are literally gone, and many more 
going to-day and to-morrow ; for what adds to the 
absurdity, is, that the second shock having happened 
exactly a month after the former, it prevails that there 
will be a third on Thursday next, another month, 
which is to swallow up London. I am almost ready 
to burn my letter now I have begun it, lest you should 
think I am laughing at you : but it is so true, that 
Arthur of White's told me last night, that he should 
put off the last ridotto, which was to be on Thursday, 
because he hears nobody would come to it. I have 
advised several, who are going to keep their next 
earthquake in the cuLintry, lo take the bark for it, as it 


; so periodic.^ Dick Leveson and Mr. Rigby, who 
ad supped and stayed late at Bedford House the 
ther night, knocked at several doors, and in a watch- 
lan s voice cried, " Past four o'clock, and a dreadful 
arthquake ! " . . . 

This frantic terror prevails so much, that within 
hese three days seven hundred and thirty coaches 
ave been counted passing Hyde Park corner, with 
/hole parties removing into the country. Here is a 
cod advertisement which I cut out of the papers to- 
av : — 

•' On Monday next will be published (price 6;/.) A true and exact List 
f dl the Nobility and Gentry who have left, or shall leave, this place 
"irough fear of another Earthquake." 

Several women have made earthquake gowns ; that 
=, warm gowns to sit out of doors all to-night. These 
re of the more courageous. One w^oman, still more 
leroic, is come to town on purpose : she sa3^s, all her 
riends are in London, and she will not survive them. 
3ut what will you think of Lady Catherine Pelham, 
^ady Frances Arundel, and Lord and Lady Galway, 
vho go this evening to an inn ten miles out of town, 
vhere they are to play at brag till five in the morning, 
md then come back — I suppose, to look for the bones 
)f their husbands and families under the rubbish. The 

■ '* I remember,'' says Addison, in the 240th Tailcr, " when our whole 
5land was shaken with an earthquake some years ago, that there was an 
mpudent mountebank who sold pills, which, as he told the country 
)eople, were 'very good against an earthquake.'" 



prophet of all this (next to the Bishop of London) is a 
trooper of Lord Delawar's, who was yesterday sent to 
Bedlam. Wi?, colonel sent to the man's wife, and asked 
her if her husband had ever been disordered before. 
She cried, " Oh dear ! my lord, he is not mad now ; if 
your lordship would but get any sensible man to 
examine him, you would find he is quite in his right 
mmd. . . . 

I shall now go and show ^^ou Mr. Chute in a dif- 
ferent light from heraldry, and in one in which I 
believe you never saw him. He will shine as usual ; 
but, as a little more severely than his good-nature is 
accustomed to, I must tell you that he was provoked 
by the most impertinent usage. It is an epigram on 
Lady Caroline Petersham, whose present fame, by the 
way, is coupled with young Harry Vane. 


Her face has beauty, we must all confess, 

But beauty on the brink of ugliness : 

Her mouth 's a rabbit feeding on a rose ; 

With eyes — ten times too good for such a nose ! 

Her blooming cheeks — what paint could ever draw 'em ? 

That paint, for which no mortal ever saw 'em. 

Air without shape — of royal race divine — 

'Tis Emily — oh ! fie ! — 'tis Caroline. 

Do but think of my beginning a third sheet ! but as 
the Parliament is rising, and I shall probably not write 
you a tolerably long letter again these eight months, I 
will lay in a stock of merit with you to last me so long. 
Mr. Chute has set mc too upon making epigrams ; but 
as I have not his art, mine is ahnost a copy of verses : 


the story he told me, and is literally true, of an old 
Lady Bingley : 

Celia now had completed some thirty campaigns, 

And for new generations was hammering chains ; 

When whetting those terrible weapons, her eyes, 

To Jenny, her handmaid, in anger she cries, 

" Careless creature ! did mortal e'er see such a glass ! 

Who that saw me in this, could e'er guess what I was ! 

Much you mind what I say 1 pray how oft have I bid you 

Provide me a new one ? how oft have I chid you ? " 

" Lord, Madam ! " cried Jane, " you're so hard to be pleased ! 

I am sure every glassman in town I have teased : 

I have hunted each shop from Pall Mall to Cheapside : 

Both Miss Carpenter's man, and Miss Banks's Pve tried." 

" Don't tell me of those girls I — all I know, to my cost, 

Is, the looking-glass art must be certainly lost ! 

One used to have mirrors so smooth and so bright, 

They did one's eyes justice, they heightened one's white, 

And fresh roses diffused o'er one's bloom — but, alas ! 

In the glasses made now, one detests one's own face ; 

They pucker one's cheeks up and furrow one's brow, 

And one's skin looks as yellow as that of Miss Howe ! " 

After an epigram that seems to have found out the 
the longitude, I shall tell you but one more, and that 
wondrous short. It is said to be made by a cow. 
You must not wonder ; we tell as many strange stories 
as Baker and Livy : 

A warm winter, a dry spring, 
A hot summer, a new King. 

Though the sting is very epigrammatic, the whole 
of the distich has more of the truth than becomes 
prophecy ; that is, it is false, for the spring is wet and 


There is come from France a Madame Bocage/ 
who has translated Milton : my Lord Chesterfield 
prefers the copy to the original ; but that is not un- 
common for him to do, who is the patron of bad 
authors and bad actors. She has written a play too, 
which was damned, and worthy my lord's approbation. 
You would be more diverted with a Mrs. Holman, 
whose passion is keeping an assembly, and inviting 
literally everybody to it. She goes to the drawing- 
room to watch for sneezes ; whips out a curtsey, and 
then sends next morning to know how your cold does, 
and to desire your company next Thursday. 

Mr. Whithed has taken my Lord Pembroke's house 
at Whitehall ; a glorious situation, but as madly built 
as my lord himself was. He has bought some 
delightful pictures too, of Claude, Caspar and good 
masters, to the amount of four hundred pounds. 

Good night ! I have nothing more to tell you, but 
that I have lately seen a Sir William Boothby, who 
saw you about a year ago, and adores you, as all the 
English you receive ought to do. He is much in my 

' Madame du Boccage published a poem in imitation of Milton, and 
another founded on Gesner's " Death of Abel." She also translated Pope's 
"Temple of Fame ;" but her principal work was " La Columbiade." It 
was at the house of this lady, at Paris, in 1775, that Johnson was annoyed 
at her footman's taking the sugar in his fingers and throwing it into his 
coffee. " I was going," says the Doctor, " to put it aside, but hearing it 
was made on purpose for mc, I c'cn tasted Tom's fingers." She died in 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, April i, 1751. 

How shall I begin a letter that will — that must — 
give you as much pain as I feel myself ? I must 
interrupt the story of the Prince's death, to tell you of 
two more, much more important, God knows ! to you 
and me ! One I had prepared you for — but how will 
you be shocked to hear that our poor Mr. Whithed is 
dead as well as my brother ! . . . 

I now must mention my own misfortune. Tuesday, 
Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, the physicians 
and all the family of painful death (to alter Gray's 
phrase), were persuaded and persuaded me, that the 
bark, which took great place, would save my brother's 
life — but he relapsed at three o'clock on Thursday, and 
died last night. He ordered to be drawn and executed 
his will with the greatest tranquillity and satisfaction on 
Saturday morning. His spoils are prodigious — not to 
his own family ! indeed I think his son the most ruined 
young man in England. My loss, I fear, may be con- 
siderable, which is not the only motive of my concern, 
though, as you know, I had much to forgive, before I 
could rejxret : but indeed I do resfret. It is no small 
addition to my concern, to fear or foresee that 
Houghton and all the remains of my father's glory will 


be pulled to pieces ! The widow-Countess imme- 
diately marries — not Richcourt, but Shirley, and 
triumphs in advancing her son's ruin by enjoying her 
own estate, and tearing away great part of his. 

Now I will divert your private grief by talking to 
you of what is called the public. The King and 
Princess are grown as fond as if they had never been 
of different parties, or rather as people who always had 
been of different. She discountenances all opposition, 
and he all ambition. Prince George, who, with his two 
eldest brothers, is to be lodged at St. James's, is 
speedily to be created Prince of Wales. Ayscough, 
his tutor, is to be removed with her entire inclination 
as well as with everybody's approbation. They talk of 
a Regency to be established (in case of a minority) by 
authority of Parliament, even this session, with the 
Princess at the head of it. She and Dr. Lee, the only 
one she consults of the late cabal, very sensibly burned 
the late Prince's papers the moment he was dead. 
Lord Egmont, by seven o'clock the next morning, 
summoned (not very decently) the faction to his house : 
all was whisper ! at last he hinted something of taking 
the Princess and her children under their protection, 
and something of the necessity of harmony. No 
answer was made to the former proposal. Somebody 
said, it was very likely indeed they should agree now, 
when the Prince could never bring it about ; and so 
ex'erybody went away to take care of himself. The 
imposthumation is supposed to have proceeded, not 
from his fall last year, but from a blow with a tennis- 
ball some years ago. The grief for the dead brother 


is affectedly displayed. They cried about an elegy,^ 
and added, " Oh, that it were but his brother ! " On 
Change they said, " Oh, that it were but the 
butcher - ! " 

The Houses sit, but no business will be done till 
after the holidays. Anstruther's affair will go on, but 
not with much spirit. One wants to see faces about 
again ! Dick Lyttelton, one of the patriot officers, 
had collected depositions on oath against the Duke for 
his behaviour in Scotland, but I suppose he will now 
throw his papers into Hamlet's grave ? 

Prince George, who has a most amiable countenance, 
behaved excessively well on his father's death. When 
they told him of it, he turned pale, and laid his hand 

' The eie.^y alluded to, was probably the effusion of some Jacobite 
royalist. That faction could not forgive the Duke of Cumberland his 
excesses or successes in Scotland ; and, not contented with branding the 
parliamentary government of the country as usurpation, indulged in 
frequent unfeeling and scurrilous personalities on every branch of the 
reigning family : 

Here lies Fred, 
Who was alive and is dead : 
Had it been his father, 
I had much rather ; 
Had it been his brother. 
Still better than another ; 
Had it been his sister, 
No one would have missed her ; 
Had it been the whole generation, 
Still better for the nation : 
But since 'tis only Fred, 
Who was alive and is dead — 
There's no more to be said. 

Walpole's Memoirs of George IF. 
'' A name given to the Duke of Cumberland for his severities to his 
prisoners after the battle of Culloden. 


OQ his breast. Ayscough said, " I am afraid, Sir, you 
are not well ! " — he replied, " I feel something here, 
just as I did when I saw the two workmen fall from 
the scaffold at Kew." Prince Edward is a very plain 
boy, with strange loose eyes, but was much the 
favourite. He is a sayer of things ! Two men were 
heard lamenting the death in Leicester Fields : one said, 
" He has left a great many small children ! " — "Ay," 
replied the other, " and what is worse, they belong to 
our parish ! " But the most extraordinary reflections 
on his death were set forth in a sermon at Alayfair 
chapel. " He had no great parts (pray mind, this was 
the parson said so, not I), but he had great virtues; 
indeed, they degenerated into vices : he was very 
generous, but I hear his generosity has ruined a great 
many people : and then his condescension was such, 
that he kept very bad company." 

Adieu ! my dear child ; I have tried, you see, to 
blend so much public history with our private griefs, 
as may help to interrupt your too great attention to the 
calamities in the former part of my letter. You will, 
with the properest good-nature in the world, break the 
news to the poor girl, whom I pity, though I never 
saw. Miss Nicoll is, I am told, extremely to be pitied 
too ; but so is everybody that knew Whithed ! Bear 
it yourself as well as you can ! 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, yiine 18, 1751. 

I SEND my letter as usual from the Secretary's office, 
but of what Secretary I don't know. Lord Sandwich 
last week received his dismission, on which the Duke 
of Bedford resigned the next day, and Lord Trentham 
with him, both breaking with old Gower, who is 
entirely in the hands of the Pelhams, and made to 
declare his quarrel with Lord Sandwich (who gave 
away his daughter to Colonel Waldegrave) the founda- 
tion of detaching himself from the Bedfords. Your 
friend Lord Fane comforts Lord Sandwich with an 
annuity of a thousand a-year — scarcely for his hand- 
some behaviour to his sister ; Lord Hartington is to 
be Master of the Horse, and Lord Albemarle Groom 
of the Stole ; Lord Granville ^ is actually Lord Presi- 
dent, and, by all outward and visible signs, something 
more — in short, if he don't overshoot himself, the 
Pelhams have ; the King's favour to him is visible, 
and so much credited, that all the incense is offered to 
him. It is believed that Impresario Holderness will 
succeed the Bedford in the foreign seals, and Lord 

' Lord Granville, known as Lord Carteret during the lifetime of his 
mother, was a statesman of the very highest ability, and was regarded 
with special favour by the King for his power of conversing in German, 
then a very rare accomplishment. 


Halifax in those for the plantations. If the former 
does, you will have ample instructions to negotiate for 
singers and dancers ! Here is an epigram made upon 
his directorship : 

That secrecy will now prevail 

In politics, is certain ; 
Since Holderness, who gets the seals, 

Was bred behind the curtain. 

The Admirals Rowley and Boscawen are brought 
into the Admiralty under Lord Anson, who is 
advanced to the head of the board. Seamen are 
tractable fishes ! especially it will be Boscawen's case, 
whose name in Cornish signifies obstinacy, and who 
brings along with him a good quantity of resentment 
to Anson. In short, the whole present system is 
equally formed for duration ! 

Since I began my letter. Lord Holderness has 
kissed hands for the seals. It is said that Lord 
Halifax is to be made easy, by the plantations being 
put under the Board of Trade. Lord Granville 
comes into power as boisterously as ever, and dashes 
at everything. His lieutenants already beat up for 
volunteers ; but he disclaims all connexions with Lord 
Bath, who, he says, forced him upon the famous 
ministry of twenty-four hours, and by which he says 
he paid all his debts to him. This will soon grow a 
turbulent scene — it is not unpleasant to sit upon the 
beach and see it ; but few people have the curiosity to 
•Step out to the sight. You, who knew England in 
other times, will find it difticult to conceive what an 


indifference reigns with regard to ministers and their 
squabbles. The two Miss Gunnings/ and a late 
extravagant dinner at White's, are twenty times more 
the subject of conversation than the two brothers 
[Newcastle and Pelham] and Lord Granville. These 
are two Irish girls, of no fortune, who are declared the 
handsomest women alive. I think their beine two 
so handsome and both such perfect figures is their 
chief excellence, for singly I have seen much hand- 
somer women than either ; however, they can't walk in 
the park or go to Vauxhall, but such mobs follow them 
that they are generally driven away. The dinner was 
'. folly of seven young men, who bespoke it to the 
utmost extent of expense : one article was a tart made 
uf duke cherries from a hot-house ; and another, that 
they tasted but one glass out of each bottle of 
champagne. The bill of fare is got into print, and 
!th good people has produced the apprehension of 
lother earthquake. Your friend St. Leger was at 
e head of these luxurious heroes — he is the hero of 
1 fashion. I never saw more dashing vivacity and 
absurdity, with some flashes of parts. He had a cause 
the other day for ducking a sharper, and was going to 
swear : the judge said to him, " I see, Sir, you are very 

' One of the Aliss Gunnings had singular fortune. She was married 
to two Dukes — the Duke of Hamilton, and, after his death, the Duke of 
Argyll. She refused a third, the Duke of Bridgewater ; and she was the 
mother of four — two Dukes of Hamilton and two Dukes of Argyll. Her 
sister married the Earl of Coventry. In his "Memoirs of George III." 
Walpole mentions that they were so poor while in Dublin that they could 
not have been presented to the Lord-Lieutenant if Peg Woffington, the 
celebrated actress, had not lent them some clothes. 


ready to take an oath." "Yes, my lord," replied St. 
Lecrer, " my father was a judge." 

We have been overwhelmed with lamentable Cam- 
brids'e and Oxford diro^es on the Prince's death : there 
is but one tolerable copy ; it is by a young Lord Stor- 
mont, a nephew of Murray, who is much commended. 
You may imagine what incense is offered to Stone by 
the people of Christchurch : they have hooked in, too, 
poor Lord Harcourt, and call him Harcottrt the Wise ! 
his wisdom has already disgusted the young Prince ; 
•' Sir, pray hold up your head. Sir, for God's sake, 
turn out your toes ! " Such are Mentor's precepts ! 

I am glad you receive my letters ; as I knew I had 
been punctual, it mortified me that you should think 
me remiss. Thank you for the transcript from Bubb " 
de tristibus ! I will keep your secret, though I am 
persuaded that a man who had composed such a 
funeral oration on his master and himself fully in- 
tended that its flowers should not bloom and wither 
in obscurity. 

We have already begun to sell the pictures that had 
not found place at Houghton : the sale gives no great 
encouragement to proceed (though I fear it must come 
to that !) ; the large pictures were thrown away ; the 
whole-length Vandykes went for a song ! I am morti- 
fied now at having printed the catalogue. Gideon the 

' Bubb means Mr. Bubb Doddington, afterwards Lord Melcombe, who 
had writlen Mr. Mann a letter of most extravagant lamentation on the 
death of the Prince of Wales. He was member for Winchelsea, and left 
behind him a diary, which was published some years after his death, and 
which throws a good deal of light on the political intrigues of the day. 


Jew, and Blakiston the independent grocer, have been 
the chief purchasers of the pictures sold already — 
there, if you love moralizing ! 

Adieu ! I have no more articles to-day for my 
literary gazette. 


To Sir Horace Manx. 

Strawberry Hill, June 12, 1753. 

I COULD not rest any longer with the thought of your 
having no idea of a place of which you hear so much, 
and therefore desired Mr. Bentley to draw you as much 
idea of it as the post would be persuaded to carry from 
Twickenham to Florence. The enclosed enchanted 
little landscape, then, is Strawberry Hill ; and I will 
tf}' to explain so much of it to you as will help to let 
you know whereabouts we are when we are talking to 
you ; for it is uncomfortable in so intimate a corre- 
spondence as ours not to be exactly master of every 
spot where one another is writing, or reading, or 
sauntering. This view of the castle is what I have 
just finished, and is the only side that will be at all 
regular. Directly before it is an open grove, through 
which you see a field, which is bounded by a serpentine 
wood of all kind of trees, and flowering shrubs, and 
flowers. The lawn before the house is situated on the 
top of a small hill, from whence to the left you see the 
town and church of Twickenham encircling a turn of 

VOL. I. 10 


the river, that looks exactly like a seaport in miniature. 
The opposite shore is a most delicious meadow, 
bounded by Richmond Hill, which loses itself in the 
noble woods of the park to the end of the prospect on 
the right, where is another turn of the river, and the 
suburbs of Kingston as luckily placed as Twickenham 
is on the left : and a natural terrace on the brow of my 
hill, with meadows of my own down to the river, 
commands both extremities. Is not this a tolerable 
prospect ? You must figure that all this is perpetually 
enlivened by a navigation of boats and barges, and by 
a road below my terrace, with coaches, post-chaises, 
waggons, and horsemen constantly in motion, and the 
fields speckled with cows, horses, and sheep. Now 
you shall walk into the house. The bow-window 
below leads into a little parlour hung with a stone- 
colour Gothic paper and Jackson's Venetian prints, 
which I could never endure while they pretended, 
infamous as they are, to be after Titian, &c., but when 
I gave them this air of barbarous bas-reliefs, they 
succeeded to a miracle : it is impossible at first sight 
not to conclude that they contain the history of Attila 
or Tottila, done about the very cera. From hence, 
under two gloomy arches, you come to the hall and 
staircase, which it is impossible to describe to you, as 
it is the most particular and chief beauty of the 
castle. Imagine the walls covered with (I call it paper, 
but it is really paper painted in perspective to repre* 
sent) Gothic fretwork : the lightest Gothic balustrade 
to the staircase, adorned with antelopes (our sup- 
porters) bearing shields ; lean windows fattened with 




rich saints in painted glass, and a vestibule open with 
three arches on the landing-place, and niches full of 
trophies of old coats of mail, Indian shields made of 
rhinoceros's hides, broadswords, quivers, longbows, 
arrows, and spears — all supposed to be taken by Sir 
Terry Robsart in the holy wars. But as none of this 
regards the enclosed drawing, I will pass to that. The 
room on the ground-tioor nearest to you is a bed- 
chamber, hung with yellow paper and prints, framed 
in a new manner, invented by Lord Cardigan ; that is, 
with black and white borders printed. Over this is 
Mr. Chute's bedchamber, hung with red in the same 
manner. The bow-window room one pair of stairs is 
not yet finished ; but in the tower beyond it is the 
charming closet where I am now writing to you. It is 
hung with green paper and water-colour pictures ; has 
two windows ; the one in the drawing looks to the 
garden, the other to the beautiful prospect ; and the 
top of each glutted with the richest painted glass of the 
arms of England, crimson roses, and twenty other 
pieces of green, purple, and historic bits. I must tell 
you, by the way, that the castle, when finished, will 
have two-and-thirty windows enriched with painted 
glass. In this closet, which is Mr. Chute's college of 
Arms, are two presses with books of heraldry and 
antiquities, Madame Sevigne's Letters, and any French 
books that relate to her and her acquaintance. Out 
of this closet is the room where we always live, hung 
with a blue and white paper in stripes adorned with 
festoons, and a thousand plump chairs, couches, and 
luxurious settees covered with linen of the same pattern, 


and with a bow-window commanding the prospect, and 
gloomed with limes that shade half each window, 
already darkened with painted glass in chiaroscuro, set 
in deep blue glass. Under this room is a cool little 
hall, where we generally dine, hung with paper to 
imitate Dutch tiles. 

I have described so much, that you will begin to 
think that all the accounts I used to give you of the 
diminutiveness of our habitation were fabulous ; but it 
is really incredible how small most of the rooms are. 
The only two good chambers I shall have are not 
yet built : they will be an eating-room and a library, 
each twenty by thirty, and the latter fifteen feet high. 
For the rest of the house I could send it you in this 
letter as easily as the drawing, only that I should have 
nowhere to live till the return of the post. The 
Chinese summer-house, which you may distinguish in 
the distant landscape, belongs to my Lord Radnor. 
We pique ourselves upon nothing but simplicity, and 
have no carvings, gildings, paintings, inlayings, or 
tawdry businesses. 

You will not be sorry, I believe, by this time to 
have done with Strawberry Hill, and to hear a litde 
news. The end of a very dreaming session has been 
extremely enlivened by an accidental bill which has 
opened great quarrels, and those not unlikely to be 
attended with interesting circumstances. A bill to 
prevent clandestine marriages,' so drawn by the Judges 

' These clandestine marriages were often called " Fleet marriages." 
Lord Stanhope, describing this Act, states that "there was ever ready a 
band of degraded and outcast clergymen, prisoners for debt or for crime. 


as to clog" all matrimony In general, was inadvertently 
espoused by the Chancellor; and having been strongly 
attacked in the House of Commons by Nugent, the 
Speaker, Mr. Fox, and others, the last went very great 
lengths of severity on the whole body of the law, and 
on its chieftain in particular, which, however, at the 
last reading, he softened and explained off extremely. 
This did not appease : but on the return of the bill to 
the House of Lords, where our amendments were to 
be read, the Chancellor in the most personal terms 
harangued against Fox, and concluded with saying that 
" he despised his scurrility as much as his adulation 
and recantation." As Christian charity is not one of 
the oaths taken by privy-counsellors, and as it is not 
the most eminent virtue in either of the champions, 
this quarrel is not likely to be soon reconciled. There 
are natures whose disposition it is to patch up political 
breaches, but whether they will succeed, or try to 
succeed in healing this, can I tell you ? 

The match for Lord Granville, which I announced 
to you, is not concluded : the flames are cooled in that 
quarter as well as in others. 

I begin a new sheet to you, which does not match with 
the other, for I have no more of the same paper here. 
Dr. Cameron is executed, and died with the greatest 

who hovered about the verge of the Fleet prison soliciting customers, 
and plying, like porters, for employment. . . . One of these wretches, 
named Keith, had gained a kind of pre-eminence in infamy. On being 
told there was a scheme on foot to stop his lucrative traffic, he declared, 
with many oaths, he would still be revenged of the Bishops, that he 
would buy a piece of ground and outbury them ! " (" History of England,"' 
c- 31)- 


firmness. His parting with his wife the night before 
was heroic and tender : he let her stay till the last 
moment, when being aware that the gates of the Tower 
would be locked, he told her so ; she fell at his feet in 
agonies : he said, " Madam, this was not what you pro- 
mised me," and embracing her, forced her to retire : 
then with the same coolness looked at the window till 
her coach was out of sight, after which he turned about 
and wept. His only concern seemed to be at the 
ignominy of Tyburn : he was not disturbed at the 
dresser for his body, or at the fire to burn his bowels.^ 
The crowd was so great, that a friend who attended 
him could not get away, but was forced to stay and 
behold the execution ; but what will you say to the 
minister or priest that accompanied him ? The wretch, 
after taking leave, went into a landau, where, not 
content with seeing the Doctor hanged, he let down 
the top of the landau for the better convenience of 
seeing him embowelled ! I cannot tell you positively 
that what I hinted of this Cameron being commis- 
sioned from Prussia was true, but so it is believed. 
Adieu ! my dear child ; I think this is a very tolerable 
letter for summer ! 

' "The populace," says Smollett, "though not very subject to tender 
emotions, were moved to compassion, and even to tears, by his behaviour 
at the place of execution ; and many sincere well-wishers of the present 
establishment thought that the sacrifice of this victim, at such a juncture, 
could not redound cither to its honour or security." 

i.Ki IKCK MuN I AliL' 



To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlington Street, May 19, 1756. 

Nothing will be more agreeable to me than to see 
you at Strawberry Hill ; the weather does not seem to 
be of my mind, and will not invite you. I believe the 
French have taken the sun. Among other captures, 
I hear the Kingf has taken another Eno-lish mistress, 
a ]\Irs. Pope, w^ho took her degrees in gallantry 
some years ago. She went to Versailles with the 
famous Mrs. Ouon : the Kinof took notice of them ; 
he was told they were not so rigid as all other 
English women are — mind, I don't give you any part 
of this history for authentic ; you know we can have 
no news from France but what we run.^ I have 
rambled so that I forgot what I intended to say ; if 
ever we can have spring, it must be soon : I propose 
to expect you any day you please after Sunday 
sennight, the 30th : let me know your resolution, and 
pray tell me in what magazine is the Strawberry 
ballad ? I should have proposed an earlier day to 
you, but next week the Prince of Nassau is to break- 

' " During the winter England was stirred with constantly-recurring 
alarms of a French invasion. . . . Addresses were moved in both Houses 
entreating or empowering the King to summon over for our defence some 
of his Hanoverian troops, and also some of hired Hessians — an ignomi- 
nious vote, but carried by large majorities" (Lord Stanhope, '" History of 
England," c. 22). 


fast at Strawberry Hill, and I know your aversion to 
clashing with grandeur. 

As I have already told you one mob story of a 
King, I will tell you another : they say, that the night 
the Hanover troops were voted, he sent Schutz for his 
German cook, and said, " Get me a very good supper ; 
get me all de varieties ; I don't mind expense." 

I tremble lest his Hanoverians should be encamped 
at Hounslow ; Strawberry w'ould become an inn ; all 
the Misses would breakfast there, to go and see the 
camp ! 

My Lord Denbigh is going to marry a fortune, I 
forget her name ; my Lord Gower asked him how 
long the honey-moon would last ? He replied, 
" Don't tell me of the honey-moon ; it is harvest moon 
with me." Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 17, 1756. 

Lentulus (I am going to tell you no old Roman 
tale ; he is the King of Prussia's aid-de-camp) arrived 
yesterday, with ample confirmation of the victory in 
Bohemia.' — Are not you glad that we have got a 

' On the 1st of the month Frederic II. had defeated the Austrian 
general. Marshal Brown, at Lowositz. It was the first battle of the 
Seven Years' War, and was of great political importance as leading to 
the capture of Drebden and of laying all Saxony at the mercy of the 


victory that we can at least call Cousin ? Between 
six and seven thousand Austrians were killed : eight 
Prussian squadrons sustained the acharnement, which 
is said to have been extreme, of thirty-two squadrons 
of Austrians : the pursuit lasted from Friday noon till 
Monday morning ; both our countrymen, Brown and 
Keith, performed wonders — we seem to flourish much 
when transplanted to Germany — but Germans don't 
make good manure here ! The Prussian King writes 
that both Brown and Piccolomini are too strongly 
intrenched to be attacked. His Majesty ran to this 
victory ; not d la Molwitz. He affirms having found 
in the King of Poland's cabinet ample justification of 
his treatment of Saxony — should not one query 
whether he had not these proofs in his hands ante- 
cedent to the cabinet ? The Dauphiness ^ is said to 
have flune herself at the Kini^ of France's feet and 
begged his protection for her father ; that he promised 
" qu'il le rendroit au centuple au Roi de Prusse." 

Peace is made between the courts of Kensington 
and Kew:^ Lord Bute, who had no visible employment 

conqueror. ^'- A la Molwitz" is an allusion to the first battle in the war 
of the Austrian Succession, April 10, 1741, in which Frederic showed that 
he was not what Voltaire and Mr. Pitt called " a heaven-born general ; " 
since on tlie repulse of his cavalry he gave up all for lost, and rode from 
the field, to learn at night that, after his flight, his second in command, 
the veteran Marshal Sclnverin,had rallied the broken squadrons, and had 
obtained a decisive victory. 

' The Dauphiness was the daughter of Augustus, King of Poland and 
Elector of Saxony. 

' " The courts of Kensington and Kew "—in other words, of the 
King and the Prince of Wales and his mother, to v.hom George II. was 
not very friendly. A scandal, which had no foundation, imputed to the 
Princess undue intimacy with the Earl of Bute, who, however, did stand 


at the latter, and yet whose office was certainly no 
sinecure, is to be Groom of the Stole to the Prince 
of Wales ; which satisfies. The rest of the family 
will be named before the birthday — but I don't know 
how, as soon as one wound is closed, another breaks 
out ! ]\Ir. Fox, extremely discontent at having no 
power, no confidence, no favour (all entirely engrossed 
by the old monopolist), has asked leave to resign. It 
is not yet granted. If Mr. Pitt will — or can, accept 
the seals, probably Mr. Fox will be indulged, — if Mr. 
Pitt will not, why then, it is impossible to tell you 
what will happen. Whatever happens on such an 
emergency, with the Parliament so near, with no time 
for considering measures, with so bad a past, and so 
much worse a future, there certainly is no duration or 
good in prospect. Unless the King of Prussia will 
take our affairs at home as well as abroad to nurse, I 
see no possible recovery for us — and you may believe, 
when a doctor like him is necessary, I should be full 
as willing to die of the distemper. 

Well ! and so you think we are undone ! — not at all; 
if folly and extravagance are symptoms of a nation's 
being at the height of their glory, as after-observers 
pretend that they arc forerunners of its ruin, v/e never 
were in a more flourishing situation. My Lord 
Rockingham and my nephew Lord Orford have made 
a match of five hundred pounds, between five turkeys 
and five geese, to run from Norwich to London. 

hijj'h in her good graces, and who probably was indebted to them for his 
appointment in the next reign to the office of Prime Minister, for whicli 
he had no qualification whatever. 



Don't you believe In the transmigration of souls ? 
And are not you convinced that this race is between 
Marquis Sardanapalus and Earl Heliogabalus ? And 
don't you pity the poor Asiatics and Italians who 
comforted themselves on their resurrection with their 
being geese and turkeys ? 

Here's another symptom of our glory! The Irish 
Speaker Mr. Ponsonby has been reposing himself at 
Newmarket : George Selwyn, seeing him toss about 
bank-bills at the hazard-table said, " How easily the 
Speaker passes the money-bills ! " 

You, who live at Florence among vulgar vices and 
tame slavery, will stare at these accounts. Pray be 
acquainted with your own country, while it is in its 
lustre. In a regular monarchy the folly of the Prince 
gives the tone ; in a downright tyranny, folly dares 
give itself no airs ; it is in a wanton overgrown 
commonwealth that whim and debauchery intrigue 
best together. Ask me which of these governments 
I prefer — oh ! the last — only I fear it is the least 

I have not yet thanked you for your letter of 
September iSth, with the accounts of the Genoese 
treaty and of the Pretender's quarrel with the Pope — 
it is a squabble worthy a Stuart. Were he, here, as abso- 
lute as any Stuart ever wished to be, who knows with 
all his bigotry but he might favour us with a reforma- 
tion and the downfall of the mass ? The ambition of 
making a Duke of York vice-chancellor of holy church 
would be as good a reason for breaking with holy 
church, as Harry the Eighth's was for quarrelling with 


it, because it would not excuse him from going to bed 
to his sister after it had given him leave. 

I wish I could tell you that your brother mends! 
indeed I don't think he does : nor do I know what to 
say to him ; I have exhausted both arguments and 
entreaties, and yet if I thought either would avail, I 
would gladly recommence them. Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Nov. 4, 1756. 

I DESIRED your brother last week to tell you that it 
was ill vain for me to write while everything was in 
such confusion. The chaos is just as far from being 
dispersed now ; I only write to tell you what has been 
its motions. One of the Popes, I think, said soon 
after his accession, he did not think it had been so 
easy to govern. What would he have thought of 
such a nation as this, encraored in a formidable war, 
without any government at all, literally, for above a 
fortnight ! The foreign ministers have not attempted 
to transact any business since yesterday fortnight. 
For God's sake, what d(j other countries say of us ? — 
but hear the progress of our interministerium. 

When Mr. Fox had declared his determination of 
resigning, great offers were sent to Mr. Pitt ; his 
demands were much greater, accompanied with a total 
exclusion of the IJuke of Newcastle. Some of the 


hitter's friends would have persuaded him, as the 
House of Commons is at his devotion, to have under- 
taken the government against both Pitt and Fox ; but 
fears preponderated. Yesterday se'nnight his grace 
declared his resolution of retiring, with all that satis- 
faction of mind which must attend a man whom not 
one man of sense will trust any longer. The King 
sent for Mr. Fox, and bid him try if Mr. Pitt would 
ioin him. The latter, without any hesitation, refused. 
In this perplexity the King ordered the Duke of 
Devonshire to try to compose some Ministry for him, 
and sent him to Pitt, to try to accommodate with Fox. 
Pitt, with a list of terms a little modified, was ready to 

gage, but on condition that Fox should have no 
employment in the cabinet. Upon this plan negotia- 
tions have been carrying on for this week. Mr. Pitt 
land Mr. Legge, whose whole party consists of from 
twelve to sixteen persons, exclusive of Leicester House 

f that presently), concluded they were entering on 
tlie government as Secretary of State and Chancellor 

the Exchequer : but there is so great unwillingness 
lo give it up totally into their hands, that all manner 
|of expedients have been projected to get rid of their 
proposals, or to limit their power. Thus the case 

mds at this instant : the Parliament has been put off 
[or a fortnight, to gain time ; the Lord knows whether 
that will suffice to bring on any sort of temper! In 
the meantime the government stands still ; pray 
Heaven the war may too ! You will wonder how 
fifteen or sixteen persons can be of such importance. 
In the first place, their importance has been conferred 


on them, and has been notified to the nation by these 
concessions and messages; next, Minorca ^ is gone; 
Oswego gone ; - the nation is in a ferment ; some very 
great indiscretions in dehvering a Hanoverian soldier 
from prison by a warrant from the Secretary of State 
have raised great difficulties ; instructions from 
counties, boroughs, especially from the City of London, 
in the style of 1641, and really in the spirit of 1715 
and 1745, have raised a great flame; and lastly, the 
countenance of Leicester House, which j\Ir, Pitt is 
supposed to have, and which ]\Ir. Legge thinks he 
has, all these tell Pitt that he may command such 
numbers without doors as may make the majorities 
within the House tremble. 

Leicester House 3 is by some thought inclined to 
more pacific measures. Lord Bute's being established 
Groom of the Stole has satisfied. They seem more 
occupied in disobliging all their new court than in 
disturbing the King's. Lord Huntingdon, the new 
Master of the Horse to the Prince, and Lord Pem- 
broke, one of his Lords, have not been spoken to. 
Alas ! if the present storms should blow over, what 

' Minorca had been taken by the Due de Richelieu ; Admiral Byng, 
after an indecisive action with the French fleet, having adopted the idea 
that he should not be able to save it, for which, as is too well known, he 
was condemned to death by a court-martial. 

- " Os'cuct^o ^t^onc." " A detachment of the enemy was defeated by 
Colonel Broadstreet on the river Onondaga ; on the other hand, the 
small forts of Ontario and Oswego were reduced by the French " (Lord 
Stanhope, "History of England," c. 33). 

' Leicester House was the London residence of the young Prince of 


_ds for new ! You must guess at the sense of this 
ragraph, which it is difficult, at least improper, to 
-xplain to you ; though you could not go into a coffee- 
j^-ouse here where it would not be interpreted to you. 
I hie would think all those little politicians had been 
-ding the Memoirs of the minority of Louis XIV. 
There has been another great difficulty : the season 
obliging all camps to break up, the poor Hanoverians 
have been forced to continue soaking in theirs. The 
rounty magistrates have been advised that they are 
not obliged by law to billet foreigners on public- 
houses, and have refused. Transports were yesterday 
ordered to carry away the Hanoverians ! There are 
-i'^ht thousand men taken from America ; for I am 
.'6 we can spare none from hence. The negligence 
:d dilatoriness of the ministers at home, the wicked- 
I'jss of our West Indian governors, and the little- 
riinded quarrels of the regulars and irregular forces, 
.ve reduced our affairs in that part of the world to 
most deplorable state. Oswego, of ten times more 
importance even than Minorca, is so annihilated that 
''\ cannot learn the particulars. 

My dear Sir, what a present and future picture 

lave I given you ! The details are infinite, and what 

I have neither time, nor, for many reasons, the im- 

jprudence to send by the post : your good sense will 

hut too well lead you to develop them. The crisis 

most melancholy and alarming. I remember two 

three years ago I wished for more active tinies, and 

lor events to furnish our correspondence. I think I 

could write you a letter almost as big as my Lord 


Clarendon's History. What a bold man is he who 
shall undertake the administration ! How much shall 
we be obliged to him ! How mad is he, whoever is 
ambitious of it ! Adieu ! 

" UNIVERSAL history:' 

To THE Earl of Strafford. 

Strawberry Hill, July 4, 1757. 

My dear Lord, — It is well I have not obeyed 
you sooner, as I have often been going to do : what a 
heap of lies and contradictions I should have sent you ! 
What joint ministries and sole ministries ! What 
acceptances and resignations ! — Viziers and bowstrings 
never succeeded one another quicker. Luckily I have 
stayed till we have got an administration that will last 
a little more than for ever. There is such content and 
harmony in it, that I don't know whether it is not as 
perfect as a plan which I formed for Charles Stanhope, 
after he had plagued me for two days for news. I 
told him the Duke of Newcastle was to take orders, 
and have the reversion of the bishopric of Winchester ; 
that Mr. Pitt was to have a regiment, and go over to 
the Duke; and Mr. Fox to be chamberlain to the 
Princess, in the room of Sir William Irby. Of all the 
new system I believe the happiest is Offley ; though in 
great humility he says he only takes the bedchamber 
to accoiuinodalc. Next to him in joy is the Earl of 
Holdernesse — who has not got the garter. My Lord 



Waldegrave has ; and the garter by this time I believe 
has got fifty spots. 

Had I written sooner, I should have told your lord- 
ship, too, of the King of Prussia's triumphs ^ — but they 
are addled too ! I hoped to have had a few bricks 
from Prague to send you towards building Mr. 
Bentley's design, but I fear none will come from 
thence this summer. Thank God, the happiness of 
the menagerie does not depend upon administrations 

- victories ! The happiest of beings in this part of 
Liie world is my Lady Suffolk : I really think her 
Acquisition and conclusion of her law-suit will lengthen 
her life ten years. You may be sure I am not so 
satisfied, as Lady Mary [Coke] has left Sudbroke. 

Are your charming lawns burnt up like our humble 
IkIIs ? Is your sweet river as low as our deserted 

Fhames ? — I am wishing for a handful or tv/o of those 

)ods that drowned me last year all the way from 

\Ventworth Castle. I beg my best compliments to my 

udy, and my best wishes that every pheasant ^gg and 

jcacock ^gg may produce as many colours as a harle- 


Tuesday y July ^th. 

Luckily, my good lord, my conscience had saved its 

' On the 6th of May Frederic defeated the Austrian army under 

ince Charles of Lorraine and Marshal Brown in the battle of Prague, 
lown was killed, as also was the Prussian Marshal, Schwerin ; indeed, 
': King lost eighteen thousand men — nearly as many as had fallen on 

• side of the enemy ; and the Austrian disaster was more than retrieved 
the great victory of Kolin, gained by Marshal Daun, June iSth, to 

lich Walpole probably alludes when he says Frederic's "triumphs are 

vol.. I. II 


distance. I had writ the above last night, when I 
received the honour of your kind letter this morning. 
You had, as I did not doubt, received accounts of all 
our strange histories. For that of the pretty Countess 
[of Coventry], I fear there is too much truth in all you 
have heard : but you don't seem to know that Lord 
Corydon and Captain Corydon his brother have been 
most abominable. I don't care to write scandal ; but 
when I see you, I will tell you how much the chits 
deserve to be whipped. Our favourite general [Con- 
way] is at his camp : Lady Ailesbury. don't go to him 
these three weeks. I expect the pleasure of seeing 
her and Miss Rich and Fred. Campbell here soon for 
a few days. I don't wonder your lordship likes St. 
Philippe better than Torcy : ^ except a few passages 
interesting to Englishmen, there cannot be a more dry 
narration than the latter. There is an addition of 
seven volumes of Universal History to Voltaire's 
Works, which I think will charm you : I almost like it 
the best of his works. It is what you have seen 
extended, and the Memoirs of Louis XIV. refonducs, 
in it. Me is a little tiresome with contradicting La 
Beaumelle and Voltaire, one remains with scarce a 
fixed idea about that time. I wish they would pro- 
duce their authorities and proofs ; without which, I am 
grown to believe neither. From mistakes in thej 
English part, I suppose there are great ones in thej 
more distant histories ; yet altogether it is a fine work 

' Torcy had been Secretary of State in the time of Louis XIV.. and 
was the diplomatist who arranged the details of the First Partition 
Treaty with William III. 


He is, as one might believe, worst informed on the 
present times. — He says eight hundred persons were 
put to death for the last Rebellion — I don't believe a 
quarter of the number were : and he makes the first 
Lord Derwentwater — who, poor man ! was in no such 
high-spirited mood — bring his son, who by the way 
\vas not above a year and a half old, upon the scaffold 
to be sprinkled with his blood. — However, he is in the 
right to expect to be believed : for he believes all the 
-•mances in Lord Anson's Voyage, and how Admiral 
\lmanzor made one man-of-war box the ears of the 
whole empire of China ! — I know nothing else new 
but a new edition of Dr. Young's Works. If your 
lordship thinks like me, who hold that even in his 
most frantic rhapsodies there are innumerable fine 
things, you will like to have this edition. Adieu, once 
more, my best lord ! 


To THE Rev. Henry Zoucii.^ 

Strawberry Hill, August 3, 1758. 

Sir, — I have received, with much pleasure and sur- 
prise, the favour of your remarks upon my Catalogue ; 
lid whenever I have the opportunity of being better 
nown to you, I shall endeavour to express my grati- 
iide for the trouble you have given yourself in con- 

' Mr. Zouch was the squire and vicar of Sandhall, in Yorkshire. 


tributing to perfect a work, which, notwithstanding 
your obliging expressions, I fear you found very Httle 
worthy the attention of so much good sense and know- 
ledge. Sir, as you possess. 

I am extremely thankful for all the information you 
have given me ; I had already met with a few of the 
same lights as I have received, Sir, from you, as I shall 
mention in their place. The very curious accounts 
of Lord Fairfax were entirely new and most accept- 
able to me. If I decline making use of one or two of 
your hints, I believe I can explain my reasons to your 
satisfaction. I will, with your leave, go regularly 
through your letter. 

As Caxton ^ laboured in the monastery of West- 
minster, it is not at all unlikely that he should wear the 
habit, nor, considering how vague our knowledge of 
that age is, impossible but he might enter the order. 

I have met with Henry's institution of a Christian, 
and shall give you an account of it in my next edition. 
In that, too, I shall mention, that Lord Cobham's 
allegiance professed at his death to Richard II., pro-: 
bably means to Richard and his right heirs whom he 
had abandoned for the house of Lancaster. As the 
article is printed off, it is too late to say anything more 
about his works. I 

In all the old books of genealogy you will find, Sir.l 
that young Richard Duke of York was solemnlyl 

' Mr. Zouch had expressed a doubt whether a portrait of a man in r 
clerical f,'arb could possibly be meant for Caxton, and Mr. Cole and three 
of Walpole's literary correspondents suggested that it was probably i 
portrait of Jehan dc Jeonville, Provost of I'aris. 


married to a child of his own age, Anne Mowbray, 
the heiress of Norfolk, who died young as well as 

The article of the Duke of Somerset is printed off 
too ; besides, I should imagine the letter you mention 
not to be of his own composition, for, though not 
illiterate, he certainly could not write anything like 
classic Latin, I may, too, possibly have inclusively 
mentioned the very letter ; I have not Ascham's book, 
to see from what copy the letter was taken, but pro- 
bably from one of those which I have said is in Bennet 

The Catalogue of Lord Brooke's works is taken 
from the volume of his works ; such pieces of his as I 
found doubted, particularly the tragedy of Cicero, I 
have taken notice of as doubtful. 

In my next edition you will see, Sir, a note on Lord 
Herbert, who, besides being with the King at York, 
had offended the peers by a speech in his Majesty's 
defence. Mr. Wolseley's preface I shall mention, from 
your information. Lord Rochester's letters to his son 
are letters to a child, bidding him mind his book and 
his grandmother. I had already been told, Sir, what 
you tell me of Marchmont Needham. 

Matthew Clifford I have altered to Martin, as you 
:irescribed ; the blunder was my own, as well as a more 

)nsiderable one, that of Lord Sandwich's death — 

which was occasioned by my supposing, at first, that 

I the translation of Barba was made by the second Earl, 

'v/hose death I had marked in the list, and forgot to 

Iter, after I had writ the account of the father. I 


shall take care to set this right, as the second volume 
is not yet begun to be printed. 

Lord Halifax's Maxims I have already marked down, 
as I shall Lord Dorset's share in Pompey. 

The account of the Duke of Wharton's death I had 
from a very good hand — Captain Willoughby ; who, in 
the convent where the Duke died, saw a picture of 
him in the habit. If it was a Bernardine convent, the 
gentleman might confound them ; but, considering that 
there is no life of the Duke but bookseller's trash, it is 
much more likely that they mistook. 

I have no doubts about Lord Belhaven's speeches ; 
but unless I could verify their being published by 
himself, it were contrary to my rule to insert 

If you look, Sir, into Lord Clarendon's account of 
Montrose's death, you will perceive that there is no 
probability of the book of his actions being composed 
by himself. 

I will consult Sir James Ware's book on Lord 
Totness's translation ; and I will mention the Earl of 
Cork's Memoirs. 

Lord Leppington is the Earl of Monmouth, in 
whose article I have taken notice of his Romulus and 

Lord Berkeley's book I have actually got, and shall 
give him an article. 

There is one more passage. Sir, in your letter, which 
I cannot answer, without putting you to new trouble — 
a liberty which all your indulgence cannot justify me in 
taking ; else I would beg to know on what authority 


you attribute to Laurence Earl of Rochester ^ the 
famous preface to his father's history, which I have 
always heard ascribed to Atterbury, Smallridge, and 
Aldridge.- The knowledge of this would be an 
additional favour ; it would be a much greater, Sir, if 
coming this way, you would ever let me have the 
honour of seeinor a o-entleman to whom I am so much 

o o 



To THE Rev. Henry Zouch. 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 21, 1758. 

Sir, — Every letter I receive from you is a new 
obligation, bringing me new information : but, sure, 
my Catalogue was not worthy of giving you so much 
trouble. Lord Fortescue is quite new to me ; I have 

■ The Earl of Rochester was the second son of the Earl of Claren- 
don. He was Lord Treasurer under James IL, but was dismissed because 
he refused to change his religion (Macaulay's " History of England," 
. 6). 

' Atterbury was the celebrated Bishop of Rochester, Smallridge was 
Bishop of Bristol, and Aldridge (usually written Aldrich) was Dean of 
Christchurch, Oxford, equally well known for his treatise on Logic and 

IS five reasons for drinking — 

Good wine, a friend, or being dry ; 
Or lest you should be by and by, 
Or any other reason why 


sent him to the press. Lord Dorset's ^ poem it will be 
unnecessary to mention separately, as I have already 
said that his works are to be found among those of the 
minor poets. 

I don't wonder, Sir, that you prefer Lord Clarendon 
to Polybius ^ ; nor can two authors well be more unlike: 
the former \NrotQ a general history in. a most obscure 
and almost unintelligible style ; thq^feeffe^^zi portion 
of private history, in the noblest style in the world. 
Whoever made the comparison, I will do them the 
justice to believe that they understood bad Greek 
better than their own language in its elevation. For 
Dr. Jortin's 3 Erasmus, which I have very nearly 
finished, it has given me a good opinion of the 
author, and he has given me a very bad one of his 
subject. By the Doctor's labour and impartiality, 
Erasmus appears a begging parasite, who had parts 
enough to discover truth, and not courage enough to 
profess it : whose vanity made him always writing ; 

' Lord Dorset, Lord Chamberlain under Charles IL, author of the 
celebrated ballad "To all you ladies now on land," and patron of 
Dryden and other literary men, was honourably mentioned as such by 
Macaulay in c. 8 of his "History," and also for his refusal, as Lord- 
Lieutenant of Essex, to comply with some of James's illegal orders. 

' " You prefer Lord Cla7-c7tdon to Polybius T It is hard to understand 
this sentence. Lord Clarendon did not write a general history, but an 
account of a single event, " The Great Rebellion." It was Polybius who 
wrote a " Universal History," of which, however, only five books have 
been preserved, the most interesting portion of which is a narrative of 
Hannibal's invasion of Italy and march over the Alps in the Second 
Punic War. 

' Dr. Jortin was Archdeacon of London ; and, among other works, 
had recently published a life of the celebrated Erasmus, the mention o 
whom by Pope, which Walpolc presently quotes, is not very unfairly 
interpreted by Walpolc. 


yet his writings ought to have cured his vanity, as they 
were the most abject things In the world. Good 
Erasimtss honest mean was ahernate time-serving. I 
never had thought much about him, and now heartily 
despise him. 

When I speak my opinion to you. Sir, about what I 
dare say you care as httle for as I do, (for what is the 
merit of a mere man of letters ?) it Is but fit I should 
answer you as sincerely on a question about which you 
are so good as to interest yourself. That my father's 
life is likely to be written, I have no grounds for 
believing. I mean I know nobody that thinks of It. 
For, myself, I certainly shall not, for many reasons, 
which you must have the patience to hear. A reason 
to me myself is, that I think too highly of him, and too 
meanly of myself, to presume I am equal to the task. 
They who do not agree with me in the former part of 
my position, will undoubtedly allow the latter part. In 
the next place, the very trutlis that I should relate 
would be so much imputed to partiality, that he would 
lose of his due praise by the suspicion of my prejudice. 
In the next place, I was born too late in his life to be 
acquainted with him in the active part of it. Then I 
was at school, at the university, abroad, and returned 
not till the last moments of his administration. What 
I know of him I could only learn from his own mouth 
in the last three years of his life ; when, to my shame, 
I was so idle, and young, and thoughtless, that I by 
no means profited of his leisure as I might have done ; 
and, indeed, I have too much impartiality in my nature 
to care, if I could, to give the world a history, collected 


solely from the person himself of whom I should write. 
With the utmost veneration for his truth, I can easily 
conceiv^e, that a man who had lived a life of party, and 
who had undergone such persecution from party, should 
have had greater bias than he himself could be sensible 
of. The last, and that a reason which must be ad- 
mitted, if all the others are not — his papers are lost. 
Between the confusion of his affairs, and the indiffe- 
rence of my elder brother to things of that sort, they 
were either lost, burnt, or what we rather think, were 
stolen by a favourite servant of my brother, who proved 
a great rogue, and was dismissed in my brother's life ;. 
and the papers were not discovered to be missing till 
after my brother's death. Thus, Sir, I should want 
vouchers for many things I could say of much im- 
portance. I have another personal reason that dis- 
courages me from attempting this task, or any other, 
besides the great reluctance that I have to being a 
voluminous author. Though I am by no means the 
learned man you arc so good as to call me in compli- 
ment ; though, on the contrary, nothing can be more 
superficial than my knowledge, or more trifling than 
my reading, — yet, I have so much strained my eyes, 
that it is often painful to me to read even a newspaper 
by daylight. In short. Sir, having led a very dis- 
sipated life, in all the hurry of the world of pleasure, I 
scarce ever read but by candlelight, after I have come 
home late at nights. As my eyes have never had the 
least indammation or humour, I am assured I may still 
recover them by care and repose. I own I prefer my 
eyes to anything I could ever read, much more to any- 


thing I could write. However, after all I have said, 
perhaps I may now and then, by degrees, throw 
together some short anecdotes of my father's private 
life and particular story, and leave his public history to 
more proper and more able hands, if such will under- 
take it. Before I finish on this chapter, I can assure 
you he did forgive my Lord Bolingbroke ^ — his nature 
was forgiving : after all was over, and he had nothing 
to fear or disguise, I can say with truth, that there were 
not three men of whom he ever dropped a word with 
rancour. What I meant of the clergy not forgiving 
Lord Bolingbroke, alluded not to his doctrines, but to 
the direct attack and war he made on the whole body. 
And now, Sir, I will confess my own weakness to you. 
I do not think so highly of that writer, as I seem to do 
in my book ; but I thought it would be imputed to 
prejudice in me, if I appeared to undervalue an author 
of whom so many persons of sense still think highly. 
My being Sir Robert Walpole's son warped me to 
praise, instead of censuring Lord Bolingbroke. With 
regard to the Duke of Leeds,- I think you have miscon- 
strued the decency of my expression. I said, Bicrnel 3 

' Sir R. Walpole was so far from having any personal quarrel with 
Bolingbroke, that, he took off so much of his outlawry as banished him, 
though he would not allow him to take his seat in the House of Peers. 

" This celebrated statesman was originally Sir Thomas Osborne. On 
the dissolution of the Cabal Ministry he was raised to the peerage as 
Earl of Danby, and was appointed Lord Treasurer. An attempt to 
impeach him, which was prompted by Louis XIV., was baftled by 
Charles. Under William III. he was appointed President of the Council, 
being the recognised leader of the Tory section of the Ministry ; and 
in the course of the reign he was twice promoted— first to be Marquis 
of Carmarthen, and subsequently to be Duke of Leeds. 

^ Burnet, the liishop of Salisbury, to whose "Memoirs of His Own 


had tT-eated him severely ; that is, I chose that Burnet 
should say so, rather than myself. I have never 
praised where my heart condemned. Little attentions, 
perhaps, to worthy descendants, were excusable in a 
work of so extensive a nature, and that approached so 
near to these times. I may, perhaps, have an oppor- 
tuninty, at one day or other of showing you some 
passages suppressed on these miOtives, which yet I do 
not intend to destroy. 

Crew, I Bishop of Durham, was as abject a tool as 
possible. I would be very certain he is an author 
before I should think him worth mentioning. If 
ever you should touch on Lord Willoughby's sermon, 
I should be obliged for a hint of it. I actually 
have a printed copy of verses by his son, on the 
marriage of the Princess Royal ; but they are so 
ridiculously unlike measure, and the man was so 
mad and so poor, that I determined not to mention 

If these details. Sir, which I should have thought 
interesting to no mortal but myself, should happen to 
amuse you, I shall be glad ; if they do not, you will 
learn not to question a man who thinks it his duty to 
satisfy the curiosity of men of sense and honour, and 
who, being of too little consequence to have secrets, is 

Time " all subsequent historians are greatly indebted. He accompanied 
William to England as his chaplain. 

' Crew was Bishop of Durham. He is branded by Macaulay (c. 6) as 
" mean, vain, and cowardly." He accepted a seat on James's Ecclesias- 
tical Commission, and when "some of his friends reprcscnlcd to him the 
risk wliich he ran Ijy sitting on an illegal tribunal, he was not ashamed 
to answer that he could not live out of the royal smile." 


not ambitious of the less consequence of appearing to 
have any. 

PS. — I must ask you one question, but to be 
answered entirely at your leisure. I have a play in 
rhyme called " Saul," said to be written by a peer. I 
guess Lord Orrery. If ever you happen to find out, 
be so good to tell me. 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 24, 1758. 

It is a very melancholy present I send you here, my 
dear Sir ; yet, considering the misfortune that has 
befallen us, perhaps the most agreeable I could send 
you. You will not think it the bitterest tear you have 
shed when you drop one over this plan of an urn in- 
scribed with the name of your dear brother, and with 
the testimonial of my eternal affection to him ! This 
litde monument is at last placed over the pew of your 
family at Linton [in Kent], and I doubt whether any 
tomb was ever erected that spoke so much truth of the 
departed, and flowed from so much sincere friendship 
in the living. The thought was my own, adopted from 
the antique columbaria, and applied to Gothic. The 
execution of the design was Mr. Bentley's, who alone, 
of all mankind, could unite the grace of Grecian archi- 


tecture and the irregular lightness and solemnity of 
Gothic. Kent and many of our builders sought this, 
but have never found it. Mr. Chute, who has as much 
taste as Mr. Bentley, thinks this little sketch a perfect 
model. The soffite is more beautiful than anything of 
either style separate. There is a little error in the in- 
scription ; it should be Horatitis Walpole posuit. The 
urn is of marble, richly polished ; the rest of stone. 
On the whole, I think there is simplicity and decency, 
with a degree of ornament that destroys neither. 

What do you say in Italy on the assassination of the 
King of Portugal } ^ Do you believe that Portuguese 
subjects lift their hand against a monarch for gallantry "i 
Do you believe that when a slave murders an absolute 
prince, he goes a walking with his wife the next morn- 
ing and murders her too ? Do you believe the dead 
King is alive ? and that the Jesuits are as ivrongfully 
suspected of this assassination as they have been of 
many others they have committed ? If you do believe 
this, and all this, you are not very near turning Protes- 
tants. It is scarce talked of here, and to save trouble, 
we admit just what the Portuguese Minister is ordered 
to publish. The King of Portugal murdered, throws 
us two hundred years back — the King of Prussia iiot 

' The Duke of Aveiro was offended with the King of Portugal for 
interfering to prevent his son's marriage, and, in revenge, he plotted his 
assassination. He procured the co-operation of some other nohles, 
especially the Marquis and Marchioness of Tavora, and also of some 
of the chief Jesuits in the country, who promised absolution to any 
assassin. The attempt was made on Sci)tcmber 3rd, when the King was 
fired at and severely wounded. The conspirators were all convicted and 
executed, and the Jesuits were expelled from the country. 


murdered, carries us two hundred years forward 

Another King, I know, has had a Httle blow : the 
Prince de Soubise has beat some Isenbourofs and 
Obergs, and is going to be Elector of Hanover this 
winter. There has been a afreat sickness amongf our 
troops in the other German army ; the Duke of Marl- 
borough has been in great danger, and some officers 
are dead. Lord Frederick Cavendish is returned from 
France. He confirms and adds to the amiable accounts 
we had received of the Ducd'Aiguillon's ^ behaviour to 
our prisoners. You yourself, the pattern of attentions 
and tenderness, could not refine on what he has done 
both in good-nature and good-breeding : he even for- 
bad any ringing of bells or rejoicings wherever they 
passed — but how your representative blood will curdle 
when you hear of the absurdity of one of your country- 
men : the night after the massacre at St. Cas, the Due 
d'Aiguillon gave a magnificent supper of eighty covers 
to our prisoners — a Colonel Lambert got up at the 
bottom of the table, and asking for a bumper, called 
out to the Due, " ]\Iy Lord Duke, here's the Roy de 
Franse !" You must put all the English you can crowd 
into the accent. ]\Iy Lord Duke was so confounded at 

' The Due d'Aiguillon was governor of Brittany when the disastrous 
attempt of the Duke of i\Iarlborough on St. Cast was repulsed. But he 
did not get much credit for the defeat. Lacretelle mentions that : " Les 
Bretons qui le considdrent comme leur tyran pretendent qu'il I'ctait tenu 
cachd pendant le combat " (iii. 345). He was subsequently prosecuted 
on charges of peculation and subornation, which the Parliament declared 
to be fully established, but ;\Ime. de Barri persuaded Louis to cancel 
their resolution. 


this preposterous compliment, which it was impossible 
for him to return, that he absolutely sank back into his 
chair and could not utter a syllable : our own people 
did not seem to feel more. 

You will read and hear that we have another expe- 
dition sailing, somewhitherin the West Indies. Hobson, 
the commander, has in his whole life had but one stroke 
of a palsy, so possibly may retain half of his under- 
standing at least. There is a great tranquillity at home^ 
but I should think not promising duration. The dis- 
gust in the army on the late frantic measures will 
furnish some warmth probably to Parliament — and if 
the French should think of returning our visits, should 
you wonder ? There are even rumours of some stirring 
among your little neighbours at Albano — keep your 
eye on them — if you could discover anything in time, it 
w^ould do you great credit. Apropos to them, I will 
send you an epigram that I made the other day on Mr. 
Chute's asking why Taylor the oculist called himself 
Chevalier ? ^ 

' Walpole was proud of the epigram, for the week before he had sent 
it to Lady Hervey. It was — 

Why Taylor the quack calls himself Chevalier 

'Tis not easy a reason to render, 
Unless blinding eyes that he thinks to make clear 

Demonstrates he's but a Pretender. 

Lc Chevalier was the name commonly given in courtesy by both parties 
to Prince Charles Edward in 1745. Colonel Talbot says: '"Well, I 

never thought to have been so much indebted to the Pretend ' 'To 

tlie Prince,' said Wavcrley, smiling. ' To the Chevalier,' said the Colonel; 
' it is a good travelling name which we may both freely use ' " (" Waverlcy," 
c. 55). 



To THE Rev. Henry Zouch. 

Arlington Street, Dec. g, 1758. 

Sir, — I have desired Mr. Whiston to convey to you 
the second edition of my Catalogue, not so complete 
as it might have been, if great part had not been 
printed before I received your remarks, but yet more 
correct than the first sketch with which I troubled 
you. Indeed, a thing of this slight and idle nature 
does not deserve to have much more pains employed 
upon it. 

I am just undertaking an edition of Lucan, my 

friend Mr. Bentley having in his possession his father's 

notes and emendations on the first seven books. 

Perhaps a partiality for the original author concurs a 

ittle with this circumstance of the notes, to make me 

fond of printing, at Strawberry Hill, the works of a 

nan who, alone of all the classics, was thought to 

Dreathe too brave and honest a spirit for the perusal 

)f the Dauphin and the French. I don't think that a 

jood or bad taste in poetry is of so serious a nature, 

hat I should be afraid of owning too, that, with that 

jreat judge Corneille, and with that, perhaps, ;/^ judge 

Keinsius, I prefer Lucan to Virgil. To speak fairly, 

prefer great sense, to poetry with little sense. 

There are hemistichs in Lucan that go to one's soul 

nd one's heart ; — for a mere epic poem, a fabulous 

VOL I. 12 


tissue of uninteresting battles that don't teach one { 
even to fight, I know nothing more tedious. The I 
poetic images, the versification and language of the I 
^neid are delightful ; but take the story by itself, and I 
can anything be more silly and unaffecting ? There j' 
are a few gods without power, heroes without charac- 
ter, heaven-directed wars without justice, inventions [ 
without probability, and a hero who betrays one i' 
woman with a kingdom that he might have had, j 
to force himself upon another woman and another ! 
kingdom to which he had no pretensions, and all this |-, 
to show his obedience to the gods! In short, I have 
always admired his numbers so much, and his meaning i< 
so little, that I think I should like Virgil better if I { ' 
understood him less. 

Have you seen. Sir, a book which has made some 
noise — " Helvetius de I'Esprit " ^ ? The author is so j 
good and moral a man, that I grieve he should have 
published a system of as relaxed morality as can well 
be imagined : 'tis a large c[uarto, and in general a very \ 
superficial one. His philosophy may be new in 
France, but it greatly exhausted here. He tries 
to imitate Montesquieu,- and has heaped commot 
places upon common-places, which supply or oveif 

' Helvetius was the son of the French king's physician. His b 
was condemned by the Parliament of Paris as derogatory to the natUHj 
of man. 

=" Montesquieu was President of the Parliament of Bordeaux. He 
was a voluminous writer, his most celebrated work being his " L'l^sprit 
des Lois." Burke described him as" A genius not born in every country, 
or every time : with a Herculean robustness of mind ; and nerves not to 
be broken by labour." 


whelm his reasoning; yet he has often wit, happy 
allusions, and sometimes writes finely : there is merit 
enough to give an obscure man fame ; flimsiness 
enough to depreciate a great man. After his book 
was licensed, they forced him to retract it by a most 
abject recantation. Then why print this work ? If 
zeal for his system pushed him to propagate it, did not 
he consider that a recantation would hurt his cause 
more than his arguments could support it ? 

We are promised Lord Clarendon in February from 
Oxford, but I hear shall have the surreptitious edition 
from Holland much sooner. 

You see. Sir, I am a sceptic as well as Helvetius, but 
of a more moderate complexion. There is no harm 
in telling mankind that there is not so much divinity 
in the yEneid as they imagine ; but, even if I 
thought so, I would not preach that virtue and friend- 
ship are mere names, and resolvable'into self-interest ; 
because there are numbers that would remember the 
grounds of the principle, and forget what was to be 
engrafted on it. Adieu ! 


To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 

Arlington Street, Jan. 19, 1759. 
I HOPE the treaty of Sluys ^ advances rapidly. Con- 

' Treaty of Sluys. Conway was engaged at Sluys negotiating with 
the French envoy, M. de Bareil, for an exchange of prisoners. 


siderlng that your own court is as new to you as 
Monsieur de Bareil and his, you cannot be very well 
entertained : the joys of a Dutch fishing town and the 
incidents of a cartel will not compose a very agreeable 
history. In the mean time you do not lose much ; 
though the Parliament is met, no politics are come to 
town ; one may describe the House of Commons like 
the price of stocks — Debates, nothing done. Votes, 
under par. Patriots, no price. Oratory, books shut. 
Love and war are as much at a stand ; neither the 
Duchess of Hamilton, nor the expeditions are gone off 
yet. Prince Edward has asked to go to Quebec, and 
has been refused. If I was sure they would refuse 
me, I would ask to go thither too. I should not 
dislike about as much laurel as I could stick in my 
window at Christmas. 

We are next week to have a serenata at the Opera- 
house for the King of Prussia's birthday ; it is to 
begin, " Viva Georgio, e Frederigo viva ! " It will, I 
own, divert me to see my Lord Temple whispering 
for this alliance, on the same bench on which I have 
so often seen him whisper against all Germany. The 
new opera pleases universally, and I hope will yet 
hold up its head. Since Vanneschi is cunning enough 
to make us sing the roast beef of old Germany, I am 
persuaded it will revive ; politics are the only hot-bed 
for keeping such a tender plant as Italian music alive 
in England. 

You are so thoughtless about your dress, that I 
cannot help giving you a little warning against your 
return. Remember, everybody that comes from 


abroad is censd to come from France, and whatever 
they wear at their first reappearance immediately 
grows the fashion. Now if, as is very hkely, you 
should through inadvertence change hats with a 
master of a Dutch smack, Offley will be upon the 
watch, will conclude you took your pattern from M. de 
Bareil, and in a week's time we shall all be equipped 
like Dutch skippers. You see I speak very disin- 
terestedly ; for, as I never wear a hat myself, it is 
indifferent to me what sort of hat I don't wear. 
Adieu ! I hope nothing in this letter, if it is opened, 
will affect the confe^'ences, nor hasten our rupture with 
Holland. Lest it should, I send it to Lord Holder- 
nesse's office ; concluding, like Lady Betty Waldegrave, 
that the Government never suspect what they send 
under their own covers. 


To Sir David Dalrymple. 

Strawberry Hill, Feb. 25, 1759. 

I THINK, Sir, I have perceived enough of the amiable 
benignity of your mind, to be sure that you will like 
to hear the praises of your friend.' Indeed, there is 

' Sir David was himself a historical writer of some importance. 
Macaulay was greatly indebted to his " Memoirs of Great Britain and 
Ireland from the Restoration to the Battle of La Hogue." The secret 
history and object of the strange attempt on James VI. (afterwards 
James I. of England) have been discussed by many writers, but with- 


but one opinion about Mr. Robertson's " History [of 
Scotland]." I don't remember any other work that 
ever met universal approbation. Since the Romans 
and the Greeks, who have now an exclusive charter 
for being the best writers in every kind, he is the 
historian that pleases me best ; and though what he 
has been so indulgent as to say of me ought to shut 
my mouth, I own I have been unmeasured in my 
commendations. I have forfeited my own modesty 
rather than not do justice to him. I did send him my 
opinion some time ago, and hope he received it. I 
can add, with the strictest truth, that he is regarded 
here as one of the greatest men that this island has 
produced. I say island, but you know. Sir, that I am 
disposed to say Scotland. I have discovered another 
very agreeable writer among your countrymen, and in 
a profession where I did not look for an author ; it is 
Mr. Ramsay, the painter, whose pieces being anony- 
mous, have been overlooked. He has a great deal 
of genuine wit, and a very just manner of reasoning. 
In his own walk, he has great merit. He and Mr. 
Reynolds are our favourite painters, and two of the 
very best we ever had. Indeed, the number of good 
has been very small, considering the numbers ther^ 
are. A very few years ago there were computed tw^ 
thousand portrait-painters in London ; I do nO| 
exaggerate the computation, but diminish it ; thougl 
I think it must have been exaggerated, Mfi,, 
Reynolds and Mr. Ramsay can scarce be rivals ; theill 

out any of them succeeding, in any very clear or certain elucidation 

tlie transaction. 


manners are so different. The former Is bold, and 
has a kind of tempestuous colouring, yet with dignity 
and grace ; the latter Is all delicacy. Mr. Reynolds 
seldom succeeds in women ; Mr. Ramsay is formed to 
paint them. 

I fear I neglected, Sir, to thank you for your present 
of the history of the " Conspiracy of the Cowries " ; 
but I shall never forget all the obligations I have to 
you. I don't doubt but In Scotland you approve what 
is liked here almost as much as Mr. Robertson's 
History ; I mean the marriage of Colonel Campbell 
and the Duchess of Hamilton. If her fortune is 
singular, so Is her merit. Such uncommon noise as 
her beauty made has not at all impaired the modesty 
of her behaviour. Adieu ! 


To Sir David Dalrymple. 

Strawberry Hill, Jidy 11, 1759. 

You will repent, Sir, I fear, having drawn such a 
correspondent upon yourself. An author flattered and 
encouraged Is not easily shaken off again ; but if the 
interests of my book did not engage me to trouble 
you, while you are so good as to write me the most 
entertaining letters in the world. It Is very natural for 
me to lay snares to inveigle more of them. However, 
Sir, excuse me this once, and I will be more modest 
for the future in trespassing on your kindness. Yet, 


before I break out on my new wants, It will be but 
decent, Sir, to answer some particulars of your letter. 

I have lately read Mr. Goodall's ^ book. There is 
<:ertainly ingenuity in parts of his defence ; but I 
believe one seldom thinks a defence mgenious without 
meaning that it is unsatisfactory. His work left me 
fully convinced of what he endeavoured to disprove ; 
and showed me, that the piece you mention is not the 
only one that he has written against moderation. 

I have lately got Lord Cromerty's " Vindication of 
the legitimacy of King Robert [the Third]," and his 
*' Synopsis Apocalyptlca," and thank you much. Sir, for 
the notice of any of his pieces. But if you expect that 
his works should lessen my esteem for the writers of 
Scotland, you will please to recollect, that the letter 
which paints Lord Cromerty's pieces in so ridiculous a 
light, is more than a counterbalance in favour of the 
writers of your country ; and of all men living, Sir, 
you are the last who will destroy my partiality for 

There Is another point. Sir, on which, with all your 
address, you will persuade me as little. Can I think 
that we want writers of history while Mr. Hume and 
Mr. Robertson are living ? It Is a truth, and not a 
compliment, that I never heard objections made to 
Mr. Hume's History without endeavouring to con- 

' Mr. Good.iU liad jxiljlislicd an Essay on tlic letters put forward as 
written by (^iiccn Mary to JJothwell, branding; thcni as forgeries. The 
question of their genuineness has been examined with great acuteness by 
more than one subsequent writer, and the arguments against their genuine- 
ness arc certainly very strong. 




^•ince the persons who found fault with it, of its great 
merit and beauty; and for what I saw of Mr. Robert- 
son's work, it is one of the purest styles, and of the 
greatest impartiality, that I ever read. It is impossible 
for me to recommend a subject to him ; because I 
cannot judge of what materials he can obtain. His 
present performance will undoubtedly make him so 
well known and esteemed, that he will have credit to 
btain many new lights for a future history ; but surely 
those relating to his own country will always lie most 
open to him. This is much my way of thinking with 
regard to myself Though the Life of Christina ^ is 
1 pleasixHg and a most uncommon subject, yet, totally 
unacquainted as I am with Sweden and its language, 
how could I flatter myself with saying anything new 
of her } And when original letters and authentic 
papers shall hereafter appear, may not they contradict 
half one should relate on the authority of what is 
already published ? for though Memoirs written nearest 
to the time are likely to be the truest, those published 
nearest to it are generally the falsest. 

But, indeed, Sir, I am now making you only civil 
excuses ; the real one is, I have no kind of intention 
of continuing to write. I could not expect to succeed 
again with so much luck, — indeed, I think it so, — as I 
have done ; it would mortify me more now, after a 

' Queen Christina of Ssveden was the daughter and heiress of the 
great Gustavus Adolphus. After a time she abdicated the throne and 
lived for some time in Paris, where she acted in one respect as if still 
possessed of royal authority, actually causing her equerry, Monaldeschi, 
to be hung in one of her sitting-rooms. 


little success, to be despised, than it would have done 
before ; and if I could please as much as I should wish 
to do, I think one should dread being a voluminous 
author. My own idleness, too, bids me desist. If I 
continued, I should certainly take more pains than I 
did in my Catalogue ; the trouble would not only be 
more than I care to encounter, but would probably 
destroy what I believe the only merit of my last work, 
the ease. If I could incite you to tread in steps which 
I perceive you don't condemn, and for which it is 
evident you are so well qualified, from your knowledge,, 
the grace, facility, and humour of your expression and 
manner, I shall have done a real service, where I 
expected at best to amuse. 



To THE Hex. H. S. Conway. 

Arlington Street, Attg. 14, 1759. 

I AM here in the most unpleasant way in the world,, 
attending poor Mrs. Leneve's death-bed, a spectator 
of all the horrors of tedious suffering and clear sense, 
and with no one soul to speak to — but I will not tire 
you with a description of what has quite worn me out. 

Probably by this time you have seen the Duke of 
Richmond or Fitzroy — but lest you should not, I will 
tell you all I can learn, and a wonderful history it is. 
Admiral Byng was not more unpopular than Lord 
George Sackville. ' I should scruple repealing his 

' Lord George was brought to court-martial for disobedience of orders, 



story if Betty and the waiters at Arthur's did not talk 
of it publicly, and thrust Prince Ferdinand's orders 
into one's hand. 

You have heard, I suppose, of the violent animosi- 
ties that have reigned for the whole campaign between 
him and Lord Granby — ^in which some other warm 
persons have been very warm too. In the heat of the 
battle, the Prince, finding thirty-six squadrons of 
French coming down upon our army, sent Ligonier 
to order our thirty-two squadrons, under Lord 
George, to advance. During that transaction, the 
French appeared to waver ; and Prince Ferdinand, 
willing, as it is supposed, to give the honour to the 
British horse of terminating the day, sent Fitzroy to 
bid Lord George bring up only the British cavalry. 
Ligonier had but just delivered his message, when 
Fitzroy came with his. — Lord George said, " This 
can't be so — would he have me break the line ? here 
is some mistake." Fitzroy replied, he had not argued 
upon the orders, but those were the orders. " Well ! " 
said Lord George, " but I want a guide." Fitzroy 
said, he would be his guide. Lord George, " Where 
is the Prince ? " Fitzroy, " I left him at the head of 
the left wing, I don't know where he is now." Lord 
George said he would go seek him, and have this 
explained. Smith then asked Fitzroy to repeat the 
orders to him ; which being done. Smith went and 

nnd most deservedly cashiered — a sentence which was, not very be- 
comingly, overlooked some years afterwards, when, having changed his 
name to Germaine on succeeding to a large fortune, and having become 
a member of the House of Commons, he was made a Secretary of State 
by Lord North. 


whispered Lord George, who says he then bid Smith 
carry up the cavalry. Smith is come, and says he is 
ready to answer anybody any question. Lord George 
says, Prince Ferdinand's behaviour to him has been 
most infamous, has asked leave to resign his command, 
and to come over, which is granted. Prince Ferdi- 
nand's behaviour is summed up in the enclosed 
extraordinary paper : which you will doubt as I did, 
but which is certainly genuine. I doubted, because, 
in the military, I thought direct disobedience of 
orders was punished with an immediate arrest, and 
because the last paragraph seemed to me very foolish. 
The going out of the way to compliment Lord Granby 
with what he would have done, seems to take off a 
little from the compliments paid to those that have 
done something ; but, in short. Prince Ferdinand or 
Lord George, one of them, is most outrageously in 
the wrong, and the latter has much the least chance 
of being thought in the right. 

The particulars I tell you, I collected from the most 
accurate authorities. — I make no comments on Lord 
George, it would look like a litde dirty court to you ; 
and the best compliment I can make you, is to think, 
as I do, that you will be the last man to enjoy this 

You will be sorry for poor M'Kinsey and Lady 
Betty, who have lost their only child at Turin. Adieu! 




To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Scpf. 13, 1759. 
With your unathletic constitution I think you will 
have a greater weight of glory to represent than you 
can bear. You will be as dpuisd as Princess Craon 
Iwith all the triumphs over Niagara, Ticonderoga, 
'Crown-point, and such a parcel of long names. You 
will ruin yourself in French horns, to exceed those of 
Marshal Botta, who has certainly found out a pleasant 
way of announcing victories. Besides, all the West 
I Indies, which we have taken by a panic, there is 
'Admiral Boscawen has demolished the Toulon 
squadron, and has made you Viceroy of the Mediter- 
ranean. I really believe the French will come hither 
now, for they can be safe nowhere else. If the King 
of Prussia should be totally undone in Germany,^ we 
can afford to give him an appanage, as a younger son 
of England, of some hundred thousand miles on the 
Ohio. Sure universal monarchy was never so put to 
shame as that of France ! What a figure do they 
make ! They seem to have no ministers, no generals, 

' ' Frederic the Great had sustained a severe defeat at Hochkin h in 
'Ltober, 1758, and a still more terrible one in August of this year ironi 
larshals Laudon and Soltikof at Kunersdorf. It seemed so irrcpaiable 
Ithat for a moment he even contemplated putting an end to his life ; Luc 
■lie was saved from the worst consequences of the blow by jealousies 
liich sprang up between the Austrian and Russian commanders, and 
leventing them from profiting by their victory as they might have done. 


no soldiers! If anything could be more ridiculous 
than their behaviour in the field, it would be in the 
cabinet ! Their invasion appears not to have been 
designed against us, but against their own people, 
who, they fear, will mutiny, and to quiet whom they 
disperse expresses, with accounts of the progress of 
their arms in England. They actually have established 
posts, to whom people are directed to send their letters 
for their friends in England. If, therefore, you hear 
that the French have established themselves at Exeter 
or at Norwich, don't be alarmed, nor undeceive the 
poor women who are writing to their husbands for 
English baubles. 

We have lost another Princess, Lady Elizabeth.^ 
She died of an inflammation in her bowels in two days. 
Her figure was so very unfortunate, that it would have 
been difficult for her to be happy, but her parts and 
application were extraordinary. I saw her act in 
" Cato " at eight years old, (when she could not stand 
alone, but was forced to lean against the side-scene,) 
better than any of her brothers and sisters. She had 
been so unhealthy, that at that age she had not been ' 
taught to read, but had learned the part of Lucia by | 
hearing the others study their parts. She went to her 
father and mother, and begged she might act. They 
put her off as gently as they could — she desired leave 
to repeat her part, and when she did, it was with s(^ 
much sense, that there was no denying her. 

I receive yours of August 25. To all your alarm^ 

' Second daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales. — Walpole. 


for the King of Prussia I subscribe. With little 
Brandenburgh he could not exhaust all the forces of 
Bohemia, Hungary, Austria, Muscovy, Siberia, Tar- 
tary, Sweden, &c., &c., &c. — but not to politicize too 
much, I believe the world will come to be fought for 
somewhere between the North of Germany and the 
back of Canada, between Count Daun and Sir William 
Johnson, I 

You guessed right about the King of Spain ; he is 
dead, and the Queen Dowager may once more have 
an opportunity of embroiling the little of Europe that 
remains unembroiled. 

Thank you, my dear Sir, for the Herculaneum and 
Caserta that you are sending me. I wish the watch 
may arrive safe, to show you that I am not insensible 
to all your attentions for me, but endeavour, at a great 
distance, to imitate you in the execution of com- 

I would keep this letter back for a post, that I 
might have but one trouble of sending you Quebec 
too ; but when one has taken so many places, it is not 
worth while to wait for one more. 

Lord George Sackville, the hero of all conversation, 
if one can be so for not being a hero, is arrived. He 
immediately applied for a Court-Martial, but was told 
it was impossible now, as the officers necessary are in 
Germany. This was in writing from Lord Holder- 
nesse — but Lord Ligonier in words was more squab — 
" If he wanted a Court-Martial, he might go seek it in 

Our General in America.— Walpole. 


Germany." All that could be taken from him, is, his 
regiment, above two thousand pounds a year : com- 
mander in Germany at ten pounds a day, between 
three and four thousand pounds : lieutenant-general 
of the ordnance, one thousand five hundred pounds : 
a fort, three hundred pounds. He remains with a 
patent place in Ireland of one thousand two hundred 
pounds, and about two thousand pounds a year of his 
own and wife's. With his parts and ambition it 
cannot end here ; he calls himself ruined, but when 
the Parliament meets, he will probably attempt some 
sort of revenge. 

They attribute, I don't know with what grounds, a 
sensible kind of plan to the French ; that De la Clue 
was to have pushed for Ireland, Thurot for Scotland, 
and the Brest fleet for England — but before they lay 
such great plans, they should take care of proper 
persons to execute them.'' 

' De la Clue and the French were this year making unusual efforts to 
establish a naval superiority over us, which they never had done, and 
never will do. As is mentioned in this letter, one powerful fleet was placed 
under De la Clue, another under Conflans, and a strong squadron 
under Commodore Thurot. De la Clue, however, for many weeks kept 
close in Toulon, resisting every endeavour of Boscawen to tempt him 
out, till the English admiral was compelled to retire to Gibraltar for the 
repair of some of his ships. De la Clue, not knowing which way he had 
gone, thought lie could steal through the Straits to join Conflans, accord- 
ing to his original orders. But Boscawen caught him off Cape Lagos, and 
gave him a decisive defeat, capturing five sail of the line, and among 
them the flagship L'Uccan (80). Before the end of the year Hawke 
almost destroyed the fleet of Conflans, capturing five and driving the rest 
on shore ; while Thurot, who at first had a gleam of success, making one 
or two descents on the northern coast of Ireland, and even capturing 
Carrickfergus, hnd, in the end, worse fortune than either of his superior 
officers, being overtaken at the mouth of Belfast Lough by Captain 


I cannot help smiling at the great objects of oar 
iletters. We never converse on a less topic than a 
Ikingdom. We are a kind of citizens of the world, and 
battles and revolutions are the common incidents of 
DLir neighbourhood. But that is and must be the case 
3f distant correspondences : Kings and Empresses 
.hat we never saw, are the only persons we can be 
acquainted with in common. We can have no more 
amiliarity than the Daily Advertiser would have if it 
^\TOte to the Florentine Gazette. Adieu ! My compli- 
nents to any monarch that lives within five hundred 
rniles of you. 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 21, 1759. 

Your pictures shall be sent as soon as any of us go 
London, but I think that will not be till the Parlia- 
nent meets. Can we easily leave the remains of such 
L year as this ? It is still all gold.i I have not dined 
)r gone to bed by a fire till the day before yesterday, 
nstead of the glorious and ever-memorable year 1759, 

llHiott with a s([uadron of nearly equal force, when the whole of the 
lench squadron was taken and he himself was killed (the Editor's 
History of the British Navy," c. 12). 

' The immediate cause of this exultation was the battle (September 
Ml) and subsequent capture of Quebec. On the other side of the world 
li^nel Forde had inflicted severe defeats on the French and Dutch, 
1 had taken Masulipatam ; and besides these triumphs there were our 
ival successes mentioned in the last letter, and the battle of Minden. 
VOL. I. 13 


as the newspapers call it, I call It this ever-warm and 
victorious year. We have not had more conquest than 
fine weather : one would think we had plundered East 
and West Indies of sunshine. Our bells are worn 
threadbare with ringing for victories. I believe it will 
require ten votes of the House of Commons before 
people will believe it is the Duke of Newcastle that 
has done this, and not Mr. Pitt. One thing is very 
fatiguing — all the world is made knights or generals. 
Adieu ! I don't know a word of news less than the 
conquest of America. Adieu ! yours ever. 

P.S. — You shall hear from me again if we take 
Mexico or China before Christmas. 

2nd P.S.^ — I had sealed my letter, but break it open 
again, having forgot to tell you that Mr. Cowslade 
has the pictures of Lord and Lady Cutts, and is willing 
to sell them. 



To George Montagu, Esq. ^ 

Arlington Street, Nov. 8, 1759. 

Your pictures will set out on Saturday ; I give you 
notice, that you may inquire for them. I did not intend 
to be here these three days, but my Lord Bath taking 
the trouble to send a man and horse to ask me to 
dinner yesterday, I did not know how to refuse ; and 
besides, as Mr. Bentley said to me, " you know he was 
an old friend of your father." 




The town is empty, but Is coming to dress itself 
for Saturday. My Lady Coventry showed George 
Selwyn her clothes ; they are blue, with spots of silver, 
of the size of a shilling, and a silver trimming, and 

j cost — my lord will know what. She asked George 
how he liked them; he replied, "Why, you will be 

' chano-e for a g-uinea," 

I find nothing talked of but the French bankruptcy; ^ 
Sir Robert Brown, I hear — and am glad to hear — will 
be a great sufferer. They put gravely into the article 
of bankrupts in the newspaper, " Louis le Petit, of the 
city of Paris, peace-breaker, dealer, and chapman ; " it 
would have been still better if they had said, " Louis 
Bourbon of petty France." We don't know what is 
become of their Monsieur Thurot, of whom we had 
still a little mind to be afraid. I should think he would 
do like Sir Thomas Hanmer, make a faint effort, beg 
pardon of the Scotch for their disappointment, and 
•tire. Here are some pretty verses just arrived. 

Pourquoi le baton a Soubise, 
Puisque Chevert est le vainqueur ? - 
C'est de la cour une mcprise, 
Ou bien le but de la faveur. 
Je ne vols rien Ih, qui m'etonne, 
Repond aussitot un railleur ; 

' In 1759 M. Berlin was Finance Minister — the fourth who had held 
that office in four years ; and among his expedients for raising money he 
had been compelled to have recourse to the measure of stopping the 
payment of the interest on a large portion of the National Debt. 

'' " Chevert est le vainqueur.'''' He was one of the most brilliant 
officers in the French army. It was he who, under the orders of Saxe, 
surprised Prague in 1744, and it was to him that IMarcchal d'Estrces was 
principally indebted for his victory of Hastenbeck. 


C'est a I'aveugle qu'on le donne, 
Et non pas au conducteur. 

Lady Meadows has left nine thousand pounds in 
reversion after her husband to Lord Sandwich's 
daughter. Apropos to my Lady Meadows's maiden 
name, a name I beHeve you have sometimes heard ; 
I was diverted t'other day with a story of a lady of 
that name/ and a lord, whose initial is no farther from 
hers than he himself is sometimes supposed to be. 
Her postillion, a lad of sixteen, said, " I am not such 
a child but I can guess something : whenever my 
Lord Lyttelton comes to my lady, she orders the 
porter to let in nobody else, and then they call for a pen 
and ink, and say they are going to Avrite history." Is 
not this finesse so like him ? Do you know that I am 
persuaded, now he is parted, that he will forget he is 
married, and propose himself in form to some woman 
or other. 

When do you come ? if it is not soon, you will find a 
new town. I stared to-day at Piccadilly like a country 
squire ; there are twenty new stone houses : at first I 
concluded that all the grooms, that used to live there, 
had got estates, and built palaces. One young gentle- 
man, who was getting an estate, but was so indiscreet 
as to step out of his way to rob a comrade, is con- 
victed, and to be transported ; in short, one of the 
waiters at Arthur's. George Selwyn says, " What 

' Mrs. Montagu was the foundress of " The Blue-stocking Club." 
She was the authoress of three " Dialogues of the Dead," to which 
Walpole is alluding here, and which she published with some others 
by Lord Lyttelton. 




a horrid idea he will give of us to the people in 
Newg-ate ! " 

I was still more surprised t'other day, than at seeing 
Piccadilly, by receiving a letter from the north of 
Ireland from a clergyman, with violent encomiums on 
my "Catalogue of Noble Authors" — and this when I 
thought it quite forgot. It puts me in mind of the 
queen ^ that sunk at Charing Cross and rose at 

Mr. Chute has got his commission to inquire about 
your Cutts, but he thinks the lady is not your grand- 
mother. You are very ungenerous to hoard tales 
from me of your ancestry : what relation have I spared ? 
If your grandfathers were knaves, will your bottling 
up their bad blood mend it ? Do you only take a 
cup of it now and then by yourself, and then come 
down to your parson, and boast of it, as if it was pure 
old metheglin ? I sat last night with the Mater 
Gracchorum — oh ! 'tis a Mater Jagorum ; if her de- 
scendants taste any of her black blood, they surely will 
make as wry faces at it as the servant in Don John 
does when the ghost decants a corpse. Good night ! 
I am just returning to Strawberry, to husband my two 
last days and to avoid all the pomp of the birthday. 
Oh ! I had forgot, there is a Miss Wynne coming forth, 
that is to be handsomer than my Lady Coventry; but I 
have known one threatened with such every summer for 
these seven years, and they are always addled by winter ! 

' Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I., who erected the cross at Charing, 
and others at the different places where her body had stopped on the 
way from the North to Westminster. 



To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlington Street, yan. 7, 1 760. 

You must not wonder I have not written to you a 
long time ; a person of my consequence ! I am now 
almost ready to say, We, instead of /. In short, I 
live amongst royalty — considering the plenty, that is 
no great wonder. All the world lives with them, and 
they with all the world. Princes and Princesses open 
shops in every corner of the town, and the whole 
town deals with them. As I have gone to one, I 
chose to frequent all, that I might not be particular, 
and seem to have views ; and yet it went so much 
against me, that I came to town on purpose a month 
ago for the Duke's levee, and had engaged Brand to 
go with me — and then could not bring myself to it. 
At last, I went to him and Princess Emily yesterday. 
It was well I had not flattered myself with being still 
in my bloom ; I am grown so old since they saw me, 
that neither of them knew me. When they were 
told, he just spoke to me (I forgive him; he is not 
out of my debt, even with that) : she was exceedingly 
gracious, and commended Strawberry to the skies. 
To-night, I was asked to their party at Norfolk House. 
These parties are wonderfully select and dignified : 
one might sooner be a knight of Malta than qualified 
for them ; I don't know how the Duchess of Devon- 


shire, Mr. Fox, and I, were forgiven some of our 
ancestors. There were two tables at loo, two at 
whist, and a quadrille. I was commanded to the 
Duke's loo ; he was sat down : not to make him 
wait, I threw my hat upon the marble table, and broke 
four pieces off a great crystal chandelier. I stick to 
my etiquette, and treat them with great respect ; not 
as I do my friend, the Duke of York. But don't let 
us talk any more of Princes. My Lucan appears 
to-morrow ; I must say it is a noble volume. Shall I 
send it to you — or won't you come and fetch it ^ 

There is nothing new of public, but the violent 
commotions in Ireland," whither the Duke of Bedford 
still persists in going, ^olus to quell a storm ! 

I am in great concern for my old friend, poor Lady 
Harry Beauclerc ; her lord dropped down dead two 
nights ago, as he was sitting with her and all their 
children. Admiral Boscawen is dead by this time. 
Mrs. Osborn - and I are not much afflicted : Lady 

' " In 1759 reports that a Legislative Union was contemplated led to 
some furious Protestant riots in Dublin. The Chancellor and some of 
the Bishops were violently attacked. A judge in a law case warned the 
Roman Catholics that ' the laws did not presume a Papist to exist in the 
kingdom ; nor could they breathe without the connivance of the Govern- 
ment " (Lecky, " History of England," ii. 436). Gray, in a letter to Dr. 
Wharton, mentions that they forced their way into the House of Lords, and 
" placed an old woman on the throne, and called for pipes and tobacco." 
He especially mentions the Bishops of Killaloe and Waterford as exposed 
|'> ardent ill-treatment, and concludes : "The notion that had possessed 
the crowd was that an union was to be voted between the two nations, 
and they should have no more Parliaments in Dublin." 

" Boscawen had been a member of the court martial which had fountl 
Admiral Byng guilty. Mrs. Osborn was Byng's sister. 


Jane Coke too is dead, exceedingly rich ; I have not 
heard her will yet. 

If you don't come to town soon, I give you warning, 
I will be a lord of the bedchamber, or a gentleman 
usher. ^ If you will, I will be nothing but what I have 
been so many years — my own and yours ever. 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlington Street, Jan. 14, 1760. 

How do you contrive to exist on your mountain in 
this rude season ? Sure you must be become a snow- 
ball ! As I was not in England in forty-one, I had 
no notion of such cold. The streets are abandoned ; 
nothing appears in them : the Thames is almost as 
solid. Then think what a campaign must be in such 
a season ! Our army was under arms for fourteen 
hours on the twenty-third, expecting the French ; and 
several of the men were frozen when they should 
have dismounted. What milksops the Marl boroughs 
and Turennes, the Blakes and the Van Tromps 
appear now, who whipped into winter quarters and 
into port, the moment their noses looked blue. Sir 
Cloudesley Shovel said that an admiral would deserve 
to be broke, who kept great ships out after the end 
of Septemb{;r, and to be shot if after October. There 


is Hawke in the bay weathering this winter, after 
conquering in a storm. For my part, I scarce venture 
to make a campaign in the Opera-house ; for if I once 
begin to freeze, I shall be frozen through in a moment. 
I am amazed, with such weather, such ravages, and 
distress, that there is anything left in Germany, but 
money ; for thither, half the treasure of Europe goes : 
England, France, Russia, and all the Empress can 
squeeze from Italy and Hungary, all is sent thither, 
and yet the wretched people have not subsistence. A 
A pound of bread sells at Dresden for eleven-pence. 
We are going to send many more troops thither ; and 
it is so much the fashion to raise regiments, that I 
wish there were such a neutral kind of beings in 
England as abbes, ^ that one might have an excuse for 
[not growing military mad, when one has turned the 
'heroic corner of one's age. I am ashamed of being 
a young rake, when my seniors are covering their grey 
toupees with helmets and feathers, and accoutering 
their pot-bellies with cuirasses and martial masquerade 
habits. Yet rake I am, and abominably so, for a 
i^erson that begins to wrinkle reverendly. I have sat 
up twice this week till between two and three with 
the Duchess of Grafton, at loo, who, by the way, has 
ot a pam-child this morning, and on Saturday night 
' supped with Prince Edward at my Lady Rochtord's, 

■ French chroniclers remark that the title Abbe liad long since 
ased in France to denote the possession of any ecclesiastical prefer- 
ent, but had become a courteous denomination of unemployed eccle- 
tstics ; and they compare it to the use of the term "Esquire" in 


and we stayed till half an hour past three. My favour 
with that Highness continues, or rather increases. 
He makes everybody make suppers for him to meet 
me, for I still hold out against going to court. In 
short, if he were twenty years older, or I could make 
myself twenty years younger, I might carry him to 
Campden House, and be as impertinent as ever my 
Lady Churchill was ; but, as I dread being ridiculous, 
I shall give my Lord Bute no uneasiness. My Lady 
Maynard, who divides the favour of this tiny court 
with me, supped with us. Did you know she sings 
French ballads very prettily ? Lord Rochford played 
on the guitar, and the Prince sung ; there were my 
two nieces, and Lord Waldegrave, Lord Huntingdon, 
and Mr. Morrison the groom, and the evening was 
pleasant ; but I had a much more agreeable supper 
last night at Mrs. Clive's, with Miss West, my niece 
Cholmondeley, and Murphy, the writing actor, who is 
very good company, and two or three more. Mrs. 
Cholmondeley is very lively ; you know how enter- 
taining the Clive is, and Miss West is an absolute 

There is nothing new, but a very dull pamphlet 
written by Lord Bath, and his chaplain Douglas, 
called a " Letter to Two Great Men." It is a plan 
for the peace, and much adopted by the City, and 
much admired by all who are too humble to judge 
for themselves. 

I was much diverted the other morning with another 
volume on birds by Edwards, who has published four 
or five. The poor man, who is grown very old and 


devout, besfs God to take from him the love of natural 
philosophy ; and having observed some heterodox 
[proceedings among bantam cocks, he proposes that 
'all schools of girls and boys should be promiscuous. 
lest, if separated, they should learn wayward passions. 
But what struck me most were his dedications, the 
last was to God ; this is to Lord Bute, as if he was 
determined to make his fortune in one world or the 

Pray read Fontaine's fable of the lion grown old ; 
don't it put you in mind of anything ? No ! not when 
his shaggy majesty has borne the insults of the tiger 
and the horse, &c., and the ass comes last, kicks out 
his only remaining fang, and asks for a blue bridle ? 
Apropos, I will tell you the turn Charles Townshend 
2^ave to this fable. " My lord," said he, " has quite 
mistaken the thing ; he soars too high at first : people 
Dften miscarry by not preceding by degrees ; he went 
and at once asked for my Lord Carlisle's garter — if 
be would have been contented to ask first for my Lady 
Carlisle's garter, I don't know but he would have 
Dbtained it ! " Adieu ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Feb. 28, 1760. 

The next time you see Marshal Botta, and are to 
dct King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, you 
must abate about a hundredth thousandth part of the 


dignity of your crown. You are no more monarch of 
all Ireland, than King O'Neil, or King Macdermoch 
is. Louis XV. is sovereign of France, Navarre, and 
Carrickfergus. You will be mistaken if you think the 
peace is made, and that we cede this Hibernian town, 
in order to recover Minorca, or to keep Quebec and 
Louisbourg. To be sure, it is natural you should 
think so : how should so victorious and heroic a nation 
cease to enjoy any of its possessions, but to save 
Christian blood ? Oh ! I know you will suppose there 
has been another insurrection, and that it is King 
John of Bedford, and not King George of Brunswick, 
that has lost this town. Why, I own you are a great 
politician, and see things in a moment — and no 
wonder, considering how long you have been em- 
ployed in negotiations ; but for once all your sagacity 
is mistaken. Indeed, considering the total destruction 
of the maritime force of France, and that the great 
mechanics and mathematicians of this age have not 
invented a flvinof bridq-e to flinsf over the sea and land 
from the coast of France to the north of Ireland, it 
was not easy to conceive how the French should con- 
quer Carrickfergus — and yet they have. But how I 
run on ! not reflecting that by this time the old 
Pretender must have hobbled throu^rh Florence on 
his way to Ireland, to take possession of this scrap of 
his recovered domains ; but I may as well tell you at 
once, for to be sure you and the loyal body of English 
in Tuscany will slip over all this exordium to come 
to the account of so extraordinary a revolution. 
Well, here it is. Last week Monsieur Thurot — oh! 


low you are au fait ! — Monsieur Thurot, as I was 
laying, landed last week in the isle of I slay, the 
:apital province belonging to a great Scotch King, 
vho is so good as generally to pass the winter with 
lis friends here in London. Monsieur Thurot had 
hree ships, the crews of which burnt two ships 
)elonging to King George, and a house belonging 

his friend the King of Argyll — pray don't mistake ; 
)y his friend, I mean King George's, not Thurot's 
riend. When they had finished this campaign, they 
;ailed to Carrickfergus, a poorish town, situate in the 
leart of the Protestant cantons. They immediately 
nade a moderate demand of about twenty articles of 
)rovisions, promising to pay for them ; for you know 
t is the way of modern invasions to make them cost 
is much as possible to oneself, and as little to those 
me invades. If this was not complied with, they 
hreatened to burn the town, and then march to 
Belfast, which is much richer. We were sensible of 
his civil proceeding, and not to be behindhand, 
igreed to it ; but somehow or other this capitulation 
.vas broken ; on which a detachment (the whole 
nvasion consists of one thousand men) attack the 
Dlace. We shut the gates, but after the battle of 
Quebec, it is impossible that so great a people should 
ittend to such trifles as locks and bolts, accordingly 
here were none — and as if there were no gates 
[leither, the two armies fired through them — if this is 

1 blunder, remember I am describing an Irish war. 1 
forgot to give you the numbers of the Irish army. It 
consisted of four companies — indeed they consisted 


but of seventy-two men, under Lieut.-colonel Jennings, 
a wonderful brave man — too brave, in short, to be 
very judicious. Unluckily our ammunition was soon 
spent, for it is not above a year that there have been 
any apprehensions for Ireland, and as all that part of 
the country are most protestantly loyal, it was not 
thought necessary to arm people who would fight till 
they die for their religion. When the artillery was 
silenced, the garrison thought the best way of saving 
the town was by flinging it at the heads of the 
besiegers ; according they poured volleys of brickbats 
at the French, whose commander, Monsieur Flobert, 
was mortally knocked down, and his troops began to 
give way. However, General Jennings thought it 
most prudent to retreat to the castle, and the French 
again advanced. Four or five raw recruits still 
bravely kept the gates, when the garrison, finding 
no more gunpowder in the castle than they had had 
in the town, and not near so good a brick-kiln, sent 
to desire to surrender. General Thurot accordingly 
made them prisoners of war, and plundered the 


To Sir David Dalrymple. 

Strawderky Wn.i., April /[, 1760. 
Sir, — As I have very httlc at present to trouble 


Oil with myself, I should have deferred writing till a 
setter opportunity, if it were not to satisfy the curiosity 
)f a friend ; a friend whom you. Sir, will be glad to 
icive made curious, as you originally pointed him out 
IS a likely person to be charmed with the old Irish 
)oetry you sent me. It is Mr. Gray, who is an 
mthusiast about those poems, and begs me to put the 
ollowing queries to you ; which I will do in his own 
\ords, and I may say truly, Poeta loqiiititr. 
j " I am so charmed with the two specimens of Erse 
ijoetry, that I cannot help giving you the trouble to 
inquire a little farther about them, and should wish to 
jiee a few lines of the original, that I may form some 
■light idea of the language, the measure, and the 

" Is there anything known of the author or authors, 
uid of what antiquity are they supposed to be ? 

" Is there any more to be had of equal beauty, or at 
.11 approaching to it ? 

j "I have been often told, that the poem called 
"iardykanute ^ (which I always admired and still 
dmire) was the work of somebody that lived a few 

' " Hardyknute " was an especial favourite of Sir \V. Scott. In his 

Life of Mr. Lockhart " he mentions having found in one of his books a 

'-■ntion that "he was taught 'Hardyknute' by heart before he could 

id the ballad itself; it was the first poem he ever learnt, the last he 

add ever forget " (c. 2). And in the very last year of his life, while at 

ilta, in a discussion on ballads in general, "he greatly lamented his 

■ nd Mr. Frere's heresy in not esteeming highly enough that of Hardy- 

ite.' He admitted that it was not a veritable old ballad, but 'just old 

aigh,' and a noble imitation of the best style." In fact, it was the 

ip.position of a lady, Mrs. Hachet, of Wardlaw. 


years asi-o. This I do not at all believe, though it 
has evidently been retouched in places by some 
modern hand ; but, however, I am authorised by this 
report to ask, whether the two poems in question are 
certainly antique and genuine. I make this inquiry in 
quality of an antiquary, and am not otherwise con- 
cerned about it ; for if I were sure that any one now 
living in Scotland had written them, to divert himself 
and laugh at the credulity of the world, I would 
undertake a journey into the Highlands only for the 
pleasure of seeing him." 

You see, Sir, how easily you may make our greatest 
southern bard travel northward to visit a brother. 
The young translator has nothing to do but to own a 
forgery, and Mr. Gray is ready to pack up his lyre, 
saddle Pegasus, and set' out directly. But seriously, 
he, Mr. Mason, my Lord Lyttelton, and one or two 
more, whose taste the world allows, are in love with 
your Erse elegies : I cannot say in general they are so 
much admired — but Mr. Gray alone is worth satisfy- 

The " Siege of Aquileia," of which you ask, pleased 

less than Mr. Home's other plays. ^ In my own 

' '■'■ Mr. Homers other plays. ^' Mr. Home was a Presbyterian minister. 
His first play was "The Tragedy of Douglas," which DTsraeli describes 
as a drama which, " by awakening the piety of domestic affections with 
the nobler passions, would elevate and purify the mind ; " and proceeds, 
with no little indignation, to relate how nearly it cost the author dear. 
The " Glasgow divines, with the monastic spirit of the darkest ages, 
published a paper, which I abridge for the contemplation of the reader, 
who may wonder to see such a composition written in the eighteenth 
century : ' On Wednesday, February 2, 1757, the Presbytery of Glasgow 
came to the following resolution : They, having seen a printed paper 


Opinion, " Douglas" far exceeds both the other. Mr. 
Home seems to have a beautiful talent for painting- 
genuine nature and the manners of his country. 
There was so little of nature in the manners of both 
Greeks and Romans, that I do not wonder at his 
success being less brilliant when he tried those sub- 
jects ; and, to say the truth, one is a little weary of 
them. At present, nothing is talked of, nothing 
admired, but what I cannot help calling a very insipid 
and tedious performance : it is a kind of novel, called 
" The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ;" ^ the 
great humour of which consists in the whole narration 
always going backwards. I can conceive a man say- 
ing that it would be droll to write a book in that 
manner, but have no notion of his persevering in 
executine it. It makes one smile two or three times 

intituled an admonition and exhortation of the reverend Presbytery of 
Edinburgh, which, among other evils prevailing, observed the following 
melancholy but notorious facts, that one who is a minister of the Church 
of Scotland did himself write and compose a stage play, intituled ' The 
Tragedy of Douglas,' and got it to be acted at the theatre of Edinburgh ; 
and that he, with several other ministers of the Church, were present, 
and some of them oftener than once., at the acting of the said play before 
a numerous audience. The presbytery being deeply affected with this 
new and strange appearance, do publish these sentiments,'" &c., &c. — 
sentiments with which I will not disgust the reader. 

' Walpole's criticism is worth preserving as a singular proof how far 
prejudice can obscure the judgement of a generally shrewd observer, and 
it is the more remarkable since he selects as its especial fault the failure 
of the author's attempts at humour ; while all other critics, from Macaulay 
to Thackeray, agree in placing it among those works in which the humour 
is most conspicuous and most attractive. Even Johnson, w'hen Boswell 
once, thinking perhaps that his " illustrious friend ' might be offended 
with its occasiooal coarseness, pronounced Sterne to be "a dull fellow," 
Wm at once mSfwYth, "Why no, Sir." 

VOL. I. A 14 


at the beginning, but in recompense makes one yawn 
for two hours. The characters are tolerably kept up, 
but the humour is for ever attempted and missed. 
The best thing in it is a Sermon, oddly coupled with 
a good deal of coarseness, and both the composition 
of a clergyman. The man's head, indeed, was a little 
turned before, now topsy-turvy with his success and 
fame. Dodsley has given him six hundred and fifty 
pounds for the second edition and two more volumes 
(which I suppose will reach backwards to his great- 
great-grandfather) ; Lord Fauconberg, a donative of 
one hundred and sixty pounds a-year ; and Bishop 
Warburton ^ gave him a purse of gold and this compli- 
ment (which happened to be a contradiction), " that it 
was quite an original composition, and in the true 
Cervantic vein : " the only copy that ever was an 
original, except in painting, where they all pretend to 
be so. Warburton, however, not content with this, 
recommended the book to the bench of bishops, and 
told them Mr. Sterne, the author, was the English 
Rabelais. They had never heard of such a writer 
Adieu ! 

' Bishop Warburton was Bishop of Gloucester, a prelate whose 
vast learning was in some degree tarnished by unepiscopal violence of 
temper. He was a voluminous author ; his most important work being 
an essay on "The Divine Legation of Moses." In one of his letters to i 
Garrick he praises " Tristram Shandy " highly, priding himself on having | 
recommended it to all the best company in town. 




To Sir David Dalrymple. 

June 20, 1760. 

I AM obliged to you, Sir, for the volume of Erse 

poetry : all of it has merit ; but I am sorry not to see 

in it the six descriptions of night with which you 

favoured me before, and which I like as much as any 

of the pieces. I can, however, by no means agree 

with the publisher, that they seem to be parts of an 

heroic poem ; nothing to me can be more unlike. I 

should as soon take all the epitaphs in Westminster 

Abbey, and say it was an epic poem on the History of 

England. The greatest part are evidently elegies ; 

md though I should not expect a bard to write by the 

rules of Aristotle, I would not, on the other hand, give 

to any work a title that must convey so different an 

idea to every common reader. I could wish, too, that 

the authenticity had been more largely stated. A 

man who knows Dr. Blair's character will undoubtedly 

take his word ; but the gross of mankind, considering 

how much it is the fashion to be sceptical in reading, 

will demand proofs, not assertions. 

I am glad to find. Sir, that we agree so much on 

The Dialogues of the Dead ; " ' indeed, there are very 

'-W that differ from us. It is well for the author, that 

" The Dialogues of the Dead " were by Lord Lyttelton. In an earlier 
vtter Walpole pronounces them " not very lively or striking." 


none of his critics have undertaken to ruin his book 
by improving it, as you have done in the Hvely Httle 
specimen you sent me. Dr. Brown has writ a dull 
dialoofue, called " Pericles and Aristides," which will 
have a different effect from what yours would have. One 
of the most objectionable passages in Lord Lyttelton's 
book is, in my opinion, his apologising for the moderate 
government of Augustus. A man who had exhausted 
tyranny in the most lawless and unjustifiable excesses 
is to be excused, because, out of weariness or policy, 
he grows less sanguinary at last ! 

There is a little book coming out, that will amuse 
you. It is a new edition of Isaac Walton's " Complete 
Angler," ^ full of anecdotes and historic notes. It is 
published by Mr. Hawkins,- a very worthy gentleman 
in my neighbourhood, but who, I could wish, did not| 
think angling so very innocent an amusement. We' 
cannot live without destroying animals, but shall we 
torture them for our sport — sport in their destruction ? 
I met a rough officer at his house t'other day, who; 
said he knew such a person was turning Methodist ;! 
for, in the middle of conversation, he rose, and openedl 
the window to let out a moth. I told him I did noti 

' "The Complete Angler" is one of those rare books which retain itSj 
popularity 250 years after its publication — not for the value of its practical! 
instructions to fishermen, for in this point of view it is valueless (Walton 
himself being only a worm or livebait fisherman, and the chapters on 
fly-fishing being by Cotton), but for its healthy tone and love of country 
scenery and simple country amusements which are seldom more attrac- 
tively displayed. 

'■' Afterwards Sir Joiin Hawkins, tlic executor and biographer of Dr 


know that the Methodists had any principle so good, 
and that I, who am certainly not on the point of 
becoming one, always did so too. One of the bravest 
and best men I ever knew, Sir Charles Wager, I have 
often heard declare he never killed a fly willingly. It 
is a comfortable reflection to me, that all the victories 
of last year have been gained since the suppression of 
the Bear Garden and prize-fighting ; as it is plain, and 
nothing else would have made it so, that our valour 
did not singly and solely depend upon these two 
Universities. Adieu ! 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlington Street, Sept. i, 1760. 

I WAS disappointed at your not being at home as I 
returned from my expedition. 

My tour has been extremely agreeable. I set out 
with winning a good deal at Loo at Ragle)' ; the Duke 
of Grafton was not so successful, and had some high 
words with Pam. I went from thence to Oflley's at 
Whichnovre,^ the individual manor of the flitch of 

■ The manor of Whichnovre, near Lichfield, is held (like the better- 
known Dunmow, in Essex) on the singular custom of the Lord of the 
Manor "keeping ready, all times of the year but Lent, one bacon-riyke 
hanging in his hall, to be given to every man or woman who demanded 


bacon, which has been growing rusty for these thirty 
years in his hall. I don't wonder ; I have no notion 
that one could keep in good humour with one's wife 
for a year and a day, unless one was to live on the 
very spot, which is one of the sweetest scenes I ever 
saw. It is the brink of a high hill ; the Trent wriggles 
through at the foot ; Lichfield and twenty other 
churches and mansions decorate the view. Mr. 
Anson has bought an estate [Shugborough] close by, 
whence my Lord used to cast many a wishful eye, 
though without the least pretensions even to a bit of 

I saw Lichfield Cathedral, which has been rich, but 
my friend Lord Brooke and his soldiery treated poor 
St. Chad I with so little ceremony, that it is in a most 
naked condition. In a niche at the very summit they 
have crowded a statue of Charles the Second, with a 
special pair of shoe-strings, big enough for a weather- 

it a year and a day after marriage, upon their swearing that they would 
not have changed for none other, fairer nor fouler, richer nor poorer, nor 
for no other descended of great lineage sleeping nor waking at no time." 
» Scott alludes to Lord Brooke's violation of St. Chad's Cathedral in 
" Marmion," whose tomb 

Was levelled when fanatic Brooke 
The fair cathedral stormed and took. 
But thanks to Heaven and good St. Chad 
A guerdon meet the spoiler had (c. vi. 36). 

And Ithe poet adds in a note that Lord Brooke himself, " who com- 
manded the assailants, was shot with a musket-ball through the visor 
of his helmet ; and the royalists remarked that he was killed by a shot 
fired from St. Chad's Cathedral on St. Chad's Day, and received his 
wound in the very eye with which, he had said, he hoped to see the ruin 
of all the cathedrals in England." 



cock. As I went to Lord Strafford's I passed through 
Sheffield, which is one of the foulest towns in England 
in the most charming situation ; there are two-and- 
twenty thousand inhabitants making knives and 
scissors : they remit eleven thousand pounds a week to 
London. One man there has discovered the art of 
plating copper with silver ; I bought a pair of candle- 
sticks for two guineas that are quite pretty. Lord 
Strafford has erected the little Gothic building, which 
I got Mr. Bentley to draw ; I took the idea from 
Chichester Cross. It stands on a hio^h bank in the 
menagerie, between a pond and a vale, totally bowered 
over with oaks. I went with the Straffords to Chats- 
worth and stayed there four days ; there were Lady 
Mary Coke, Lord Besborough and his daughters, Lord 
Thomond, Mr. Boufoy, the Duke, the old Duchess, 
and two of his brothers. Would you believe that 
nothing was ever better humoured than the ancient 
Grace ? She stayed every evening till it was dark in 
the skittle-ground, keeping the score ; and one night, 
that the servants had a ball for Lady Dorothy's birth- 
day, we fetched the fiddler into the drawing-room, and 
the dowager herself danced with us ! I never was more 
disappointed than at Chatsworth,^ which, ever since I 
was born, I have condemned. It is a glorious situa- 
tion ; the vale rich in corn and verdure, vast woods 
hang down the hills, which are green to the top, and 
the immense rocks only serve to dignify the prospect. 

' " Disappointed with Chats-worth.'' In a letter, however, to Lord 
Strafiford three days afterwards he says : " Chatsworth surpassed his 
expectations ; there is such richness and variety of prospect." 


The river runs before the door, and serpentises more 
than you can conceive in the vale. The Duke is 
widening it, and will make it the middle of his park ; 
but I don't approve an idea they are going to execute, 
of a fine bridge with statues under a noble cliff. If 
they will have a bridge (which by the way will crowd 
the scene), it should be composed of rude fragments, 
such as the giant of the Peak would step upon, that he 
might not be wetshod. The expense of the works 
now carrying on will amount to forty thousand pounds. 
A heavy quadrangle of stables is part of the plan, is 
very cumbrous, and standing higher than the house, 
is ready to overwhelm it. The principal front of the 
house is beautiful, and executed with the neatness of 
wrought plate ; the inside is most sumptuous, but did 
not please me ; the heathen gods, goddesses. Christian 
virtues, and allegoric gentlefolks, are crowded into 
every room, as if Mrs. Holman had been in heaven 
and invited everybody she saw. The great apartment 
is first ; painted ceilings, inlaid floors, and unpainted 
wainscots make every room sombre. The tapestries 
are fine, but not fine enough, and there are few 
portraits. The chapel is charming. The great jet 
d'cmc I like, nor would I remove it ; whatever is 
magnificent of the kind in the time it was done, I 
would retain, else all gardens and houses wear a tire- 
some resemblance. I except that absurdity of a 
cascade tumbling down marble steps, which reduces 
the steps to be of no use at all. I saw liaddon, an 
abandoned old castle of the Rutlands, in a romantic 
situation, but which never coultl have composed a 


tolerable dwelling. The Duke sent Lord John 
[Cavendish] with me to Hardwicke, where I was 
again disappointed ; but I will not take relations from 
others ; they either don't see for themselves, or can't 
see for me. How I had been promised that I should 
be charmed with Hardwicke/ and told that the Devon- 
shires ought to have established there ! never was I 
less charmed in my life. The house is not Gothic, 
but of that betweenity, that intervened when Gothic 
declined and Paladian was creeping in — rather, this 
is totally naked of either. It has vast chambers — aye, 
vast, such as the nobility of that time delighted in, 
and did not know how to furnish. The great apart- 
ment is exactly what it was when the Queen of Scots 
was kept there. Her council-chamber, the council- 
chamber of a poor woman, who had only two secre- 
taries, a gentleman-usher, an apothecary, a confessor, 
and three maids, is so outrageously spacious, that you 
would take it for King David's, who thought, contrary 
to all modern experience, that in the multitude of 
ounsellors there is wisdom. At the upper end is the 
:ate, with a long table, covered with a sumptuous 
cioth, embroidered and embossed with gold, — at least 
\\ hat was gold ; so are all the tables. Round the top 
f the chamber runs a monstrous frieze, ten or twelve 
<jt deep, representing stag-hunting in miserable 
plastered relief. The next is her dressing-room, hung 

' Hardwicke was one of what Home calls " the gentleman's houses," 
which the imfortunate Queen was removed between the times of 
r detention at Tutbury and Fotheringay. It is not mentioned by 


with patch-work on black velvet ; then her state bed- 
chamber. The bed has been rich beyond description, 
and now hangs in costly golden tatters. Thei 
hangings, part of which they say her Majesty worked, | 
are composed of figures as large as life, sewed andi 
embroidered on black velvet, w^hite satin, &c., and 
represent the virtues that were necessary for her, or, 
that she was forced to have, as Patience and Temper- 1 
ance, &c. The fire-screens are particular ; pieces ofi 
yellow velvet, fringed with gold, hang on a cross-bar! 
of wood, which is fixed on the top of a single stick,! 
that rises from the foot. The only furniture which; 
has any appearance of taste are the table and cabinets,! 
which are all of oak, richly carved. There is a private 
chamber within, where she lay, her arms and style' 
over the door ; the arras hangs over all the doors ; the' 
gallery is sixty yards long, covered with bad tapestry 
and wretched pictures of Mary herself, Elizabeth in a 
gown of sea-monsters. Lord Darnley, James the Fiftbl 
and his Queen, curious, and a whole history of Kings 
of England, not worth sixpence a-piece. There is an 
original of old Bess of Hardwicke herself, who buil'|« 
the house. Her estates were then reckoned at sixt) 
thousand pounds a-year, and now let for two hundrec 
thousand pounds. Lord John Cavendish told me, thai|« 
the tradition in the family is, that it had been projii 
phesied to her that she should never die as long a'l:* 
she was building ; and that at last she died in a hare 
frost, when the labourers could not work. There i: 
a fine bank of old oaks in the park over a lake i 
nothing else pleased me there. However, I was S(j. 


diverted with this old beldam and her magnificence, 
that I made this epitaph for her : — 

Four times the nuptial bed she warm'd, 

And every time so well perform'd, 

That when death spoil'd each husband's billing, 

He left the widow every shilling. 

Fond was the dame, but not dejected ; 

Five stately mansions she erected 

With more than royal pomp, to vary 

The prison of her captive Mary. 

When Hardwicke's towers shall bow their head, 

Nor mass be more in Worksop said ; 

When Bolsover's fair fame shall tend 

Like Olcotes, to its mouldering end ; 

When Chatsworth tastes no Ca'ndish bounties, 

Let fame forget this costly countess. 

As I returned, I saw Newstead ^ and Althorpe : I 

3 Newstead, since Walpole's time immortalised as the seat of the illus- 
trious Byron. Evelyn had compared it, for its situation, to Fontainebleau, 
and particularly extolled " the front of a glorious Abbey Church " and its 
" brave woods and streams ; " and Byron himself has given an elaborate 
description of it under the name of " Norman Abbey," not overlooking 
its woods : 

It stood embosomed in a happy valley 
Crowned by high woodlands, where the Druid-oak 

Stood like Caractacus in act to rally 
His host, with broad arms, gainst the thunderstroke — 

nor the streams : 

Before the mansion lay a lucid lake 
Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed 

By a river, which its softened way did take 
In currents through the calmer waters spread 
Around " — 

nor the abbey front : 

A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile 
While yet the church was Rome's, stood half apart 
In a grand arch, which once screened many an angle. 

(" Don Juan," xiii. 56-59.) 


like both. The former is the very abbey. The great 
east window of the church remains, and connects with 
the house ; the hall entire, the refectory entire, the 
cloister untouched, with the ancient cistern of the con- 
vent, and their arms on it ; a private chapel quite 
perfect. The park, which is still charming, has not 
been so much unprofaned ; the present Lord has lost 
large sums, and paid part in old oaks, five thousand 
pounds of which have been cut near the house. In 
recompense he has built two baby forts, to pay his 
country in castles for the damage done to the navy, 
and planted a handful of Scotch firs, that look like 
ploughboys dressed in old family liveries for a public 
day. In the hall is a very good collection of pictures, 
all animals ; the refectory, now the great drawing- 
room, is full of Byrons ; the vaulted roof remaining, 
but the windows have new dresses making for them 
by a Venetian tailor. Althorpe has several very fine 
pictures by the best Italian hands, and a gallery of all 
one's acquaintance by Vandyke and Lely. I wonder 
you never saw it ; it is but six miles from Northamp- 
ton. Well, good night ; I have writ you such a 
volume, that you see I am forced to page it. The 
Duke [of Cumberland] has had a stroke of the palsy, 
but is quite recovered, except in some letters, which 
he cannot pronounce ; and it is still visible in the con- 
traction of one side of his mouth. My compliments 
to your family. 


j TION. 

To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlixgtox Street, April i6, i;6i. 

You are a very mule ; one offers you a handsome 
stall and manger in Berkeley Square, and you will not 
accept it. I have chosen your coat, a claret colour, to 
suit the complexion of the country you are going to 
visit ; but I have fixed nothing about the lace. Barrett 
had none of gauze, but what were as broad as the Irish 
Channel. Your tailor found a very reputable one at 
another place, but I would not determine rashly ; it 
will be two or three-and-twenty shillings the yard ; 
you might have a very substantial real lace, which 
would wear like your buffet, for twenty. The second 
order of gauzes are frippery, none above twelve 
^hillings, and those tarnished, for the species is out 
: fashion. You will have time to sit in judgment 
;)on these important points ; for Hamilton your 
secretary told me at the Opera two nights ago, that 
he had taken a house near Bushy, and hoped to be in 
my neighbourhood for four months. 

I was last night at your plump Countess's, who is 

so shrunk, that she does not seem to be composed 

r above a dozen hassocs. Lord Guildford rejoiced 

niightil}' over your preferment. The Duchess of 

Argyle was playing there, not knowing that the great 


Pam was just dead, to wit, her brother-in-law. He 
was abroad in the morning, was seized with a palpita- 
tion after dinner and was dead before the surgeon 
could arrive. There's the crown of Scotland too fallen 
upon my Lord Bute's head ! ^ Poor Lord Edgecumbe 
is still alive, and may be so for some days ; the phy- 
sicians, who no longer ago than Friday se'nnight 
persisted that he had no dropsy, in order to prevent 
his having Ward, on Monday last proposed that Ward 
should be called in, and at length they owned they 
thought the mortification bes^'un. It is not clear it is 
yet ; at times he is in his senses, and entirely so, 
composed, clear, and rational ; talks of his death, and 
but yesterday, after such a conversation with his 
brother, asked for a pencil to amuse himself with draw- 
ing. What parts, genius, and agreeableness thrown 
away at a hazard table, and not permitted the chance 
of being saved by the villainy of physicians ! 

You will be pleased with the Anacreontic, written by 
Lord Middlesex upon Sir Harry Bellendine : I have 
not seen anything so antique for ages ; it has all the 
fire, poetry, and simplicity of Horace. 

Ye sons of Bacchus, come and join 
In solemn dirge, while tapers shine 
Around the grape-embossed shrine 
Of honest Harry Ijellcndine. 

' Lord Bute used his influence in favour of Scotchmen with so little 
moderation that he raised a prejudice against the whole nation, which 
found a vent in Wilkes's North Uriton and CiuuchiU's bitter and 
powerful satire, " The Prophecy of I"\amine." 


Pour the rich juice of Bourdeaux's wine, 
Mix'd with your falling tears of brine, 
In full libation o'er the shrine 
Of honest Harry Bellendine. 

Your brows let ivy chaplets twine, 
While you push round the sparkling wine, 
And let your table be the shrine 
Of honest Harry Bellendine. 

He died in his vocation, of a high fever, after the 
celebration of some orgies. Though but six hours 
in his senses, he gave a proof of his usual good 
humour, making it his last request to the sister 
Tuftons to be reconciled ; which they are. His pretty 
villa, in my neighbourhood, I fancy he has left to the 
ne.w Lord Lorn. I must tell you an admirable bon 
:ot of George Selwyn, though not a new one ; when 
there was a malicious report that the eldest Tufton was 
to marry Dr. Duncan, Selwyn said, "How often will 
she repeat that line of Shakspeare, 

Wake Duncan with this knocking — would thou couldst I" 

I enclose the receipt from your lawyer. Adieu ! 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlington Street, May 5, 1761. 

We have lost a young genius. Sir William Williams; 
ii express from Belleisle, arrived this morning, brings 


nothing but his death. He was shot very unneces- 
sarily, riding too near a battery ; in sum, he is a 
sacrifice to his own rashness, and to ours. For what i 
are we taking Belleisle ? ^ I rejoiced at the Httle loss ; 
we had on landing ; for the glory, I leave it the I 
common council. I am very willing to leave London 
to them too, and do pass half the week at Strawberry, I 
where my two passions, lilacs and nightingales, are in | 
full bloom. I spent Sunday as if it were Apollo's ( 
birthday ; Gray and Mason were with me, and we i 
listened to the nightingales till one o'clock in the j 
morning. Gray has translated two noble incantations 
from the Lord knows who, a Danish Gray, w^ho lived 
the Lord knows when. They are to be enchased in a 
history of English bards, which Mason and he are 
writinof ; but of which the former has not written a | 
word yet, and of which the latter, if he rides Pegasus i 
at his usual footpace, will finish the first page two ; 
years hence. j 

But the true frantic Qistus resides at present with 
Mr. Hogarth; I went t'other morning to see a portrait j 
he is painting of Mr. Fox. Hogarth told me he had I 
promised, if Mr. Fox would sit as he liked, to make as | 
good a picture as Vandyke or Rubens could. I was i 
silent — " Why now," said he, " you think this very j 
vain, but why should not one speak truth ? " This 
Iniih was uttered in the face of his own Sigismonda, 
which is exactly a maudlin street-walker, tearing off 

' Belleisle was of no value to us to keep ; but Pitt sent an expedition 
against it, that in any future treaty of peace he might be able to exchange 
it for Minorca. 


the trinkets that her keeper had given her, to fling at 
his head. She has her father's picture in a bracelet 
on her arm, and her fingers are bloody with the heart, 
as if she had just bought a sheep's pluck in St. James's 
Market. As I was going, Hogarth put on a very 
grave face, and said, " Mr. Walpole, I want to speak 
to you." I sat down, and said, I was ready to receive 
his commands. For shortness, I will mark this won- 
derful dialogue by initial letters. 

H. I am told you are going to entertain the town 
with something in our way. \\\ Not very soon, Mr. 
Hogarth. H. I wish you would let me have it, to 
correct ; I should be very sorry to have you expose 
yourself to censure ; we painters must know more of 
those things than other people. W. Do you think 
nobody understands painting but painters ? H. Oh ! 
so far from it, there's Reynolds, who certainly has 
genius ; why, but t'other day he offered a hundred 
pounds for a picture, that I would not hang in my 
cellar ; and indeed, to say truth, I have generally 
found, that persons who had studied painting least 
were the best judges of it ; but what I particularly 
wished to say to you was about Sir James Thornhill 
(you know he married Sir James's daughter) : I would 
not have you say anything against him ; there was a 
hook published some time ago, abusing him, and it 
L;ave great offence. He was the first that attempted 
history in England, and, I assure you, some Germans 
have said that he was a very great painter. W. My 
■vork will go no lower than the year one thousand 

:ven hundred, and I really have not considered 

VOL. I. ir 


whether Sir J. Thornhill will come within my plan or 
not ; if he does, I fear you and I shall not agree upon 
his merits. H. I wish you would let me correct it ; be- 
sides, I am writing something of the same kind myself; 
I should be sorry we should clash. W. I believe it is 
not much known what my work is, very few persons 
have seen it. H. Why, it is a critical history of 
painting, is not it ? W. No, it is an antiquarian 
history of it in England; I bought Mr. Vertue's 
MSS., and, I believe, the work will not give much 
offence ; besides, if it does, I cannot help it ; when I 
publish anything, I give it to the world to think of it 
as they please. H. Oh ! if it is an antiquarian work, 
we shall not clash ; mine is a critical work ; I don't 
know whether I shall ever publish it. It is rather an 
apology for painters. I think it is owing to the good 
sense of the English that they have not painted better. 
W. My dear Mr. Hogarth, I must take my leave of 
you, you now grow too wild — and I left him. If I hadi 
stayed, there remained nothing but for him to bite me. 
I give you my honour this conversation is literal, and, 
perhaps, as long as you have known Englishmen and 
painters, you never met with anything so distracted. 
I had consecrated a line to his genius (I mean, for wit) 
in my Preface ; I shall not erase it ; but I hope nobody 
will ask me if he is not mad. Adieu ! 



To George Montagu, Esq. 

Strawberry Hill, Jtdy 22, 1761. 
For my part, I believe Mademoiselle Scuderi i drew 
the plan of this year. It is all royal marriages, corona- 
tions, and victories ; they come tumbling so over one 
another from distant parts of the globe, that it looks 
just like the handywork of a lady romance writer, 
whom it costs nothing but a little false geography to 
make the Great Mogul in love with a Princess of 
Mecklenburgh, and defeat two marshals of France ^ as 
he rides post on an elephant to his nuptials. I don't 
know where I am. I had scarce found Mecklenburg 
Strelitz with a magnifying-glass before I am whisked 
to Pondicherry— well, I take it, and raze it. I begin 
to grow acquainted with Colonel Coote,3 and figure 
him packing up chests of diamonds, and sending them 
to his wife against the King's wedding— thunder go to 
the Tower guns, and behold, Broglie and Soubise are 

Mdlle. Scuddri and her brother were writers of romances of enor- 

"is length, and, in their time, of great popularity (see D'Israeli's 

'Hint of them, " Curiosities of Literature," i. 105). 

''Defeat two French marshals''— ihey were Marcchal de Broglie 

I the Prince de Soubise. The action, which, however, was of but 

.little importance, is called by Lacretelle " Le Combat de Fillings- 

nausen," * 

I 3 Colonel Eyre Coote, the best soldier next to Clive himself that India 
ihad yet seen, had defeated the French Governor, Count Lally, at Wan- 
dewash in January, 1760 ; and the capture of Pondicherry was one 
important fruit of the victory. 


totally defeated ; if the mob have not much stronger 
heads and quicker conceptions than I have, they will 
conclude my Lord Granby is become nabob. How 
the deuce in two days can one digest all this ? Why 
is not Pondicherry in Westphalia ? I don't know how 
the Romans did, but I cannot support two victories 
every week. Well, but you will want to know the 
particulars. Broglie and Soubise united, attacked our 
army on the 15th, but were repulsed ; the next day, the 
Prince Mahomet AUi Cawn — no, no, I mean Prince 
Ferdinand, returned the attack, and the French threw 
down their arms and fled, run over my Lord Harcourt, 
who was going to fetch the new Queen ; in short, I 
don't know how it was, but Mr. Conway is safe, and Ifi 
am as happy as Mr. Pitt himself. We have only lost! 
a Lieutenant - colonel Keith ; Colonel Marlay and; 
Harry Townshend are wounded. { 

I could beat myself for not having a flag ready toi 
display on my round tower, and guns mounted on all 
my battlements. Instead of that, I have been foolishlyl 
trying on my new pictures upon my gallery. Howj 
ever, the oratory of our Lady of Strawberry shal 
be dedicated next year on the anniversary of Mr 
Conway's safety. Think with his intrepidity, ancj 
delicacy of honour wounded, what I had to apprehend j 
you shall absolutely be here on the sixteenth of nex i 
July. Mr. Hamilton tells me your King does not se 
out for his new dominions till the day after the Corona 
tion ; if you will come to it, I can give you a very goo( 
place for the procession ; where, is a profound secret 
because, if known, I should be teased to death, an* 


none but my first friends shall be admitted. I dined 
with your secretary [Single-speech Hamilton] yester- 
day ; there were Garrick and a young Mr. Burke ' — who 
wrote a book in the style of Lord Bolingbroke, that 
was much admired. He is a sensible man, but has 
not worn off his authorism yet, and thinks there is 
nothing so charming as writers, and to be one. He 
will know better one of these days. I like Hamilton's 
little Marly ; we walked in the great allie, and drank 
tea in the arbour of treillage ; they talked of Shaks- 
peare and Booth, of Swift and my Lord Bath, and I 
was thinking of Madame Sevigne. Good night — I 
have a dozen other letters to write ; I must tell my 
friends how happy I am — not as an Englishman, but as 
a cousin. 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Scpf. 10, 1761. 

When we least expected the Queen, she came, after 
being ten days at sea, but without sickness for above 
half-an-hour. She was gay the whole voyage, sung to 
h('r harpsichord, and left the door of her cabin open. 
I'hey made the coast of Suffolk last Saturday, and on 
Monday morning she landed at Harwich ; so prosper- 

' Mr. Burke's book was " A Vindication of Natural Society," and was 
i^arded as a very successful imitation of the style of Lord Bolingbroke. 


ously has his Majesty's chief eunuch, as they have 
made the TripoHne ambassador call Lord Anson, 
executed his commission. She lay that night at your | 
old friend Lord Abercorn's, at Witham [in Essex] ; ! 
and, if she judged by her host, must have thought she I 
was coming to reign in the realm of taciturnity. She ( 
arrived at St. James's a quarter after three on Tuesday I 
the 8th. When she first saw the Palace she turned j 
pale : the Duchess of Hamilton smiled. " My dear j 
Duchess," said the Princess, '' yott. may laugh ; you ■ 
have been married twice ; but it is no joke to me." Is | 
this a bad proof of her sense ? On the journey they j 
wanted her to curl her toupet. "No, indeed," said 
she, " I think it looks as well as those of the ladies 
who have been sent for me : if the King would have 
me wear a periwig, I will ; otherwise I shall let myself 
alone." The Duke of York gave her his hand at the 
garden-gate : her lips trembled, but she jumped out 
with spirit. In the garden the King met her; she 
would have fallen at his feet ; he prevented and 
embraced her, and led her into the apartments, where 
she was received by the Princess of Wales and Lady 
Augusta : these three princesses only dined with the 
King. At ten the procession went to chapel, pre- 
ceded by unmarried daughters of peers, and peeresses 
in plenty. The new Princess was led by the Duke of 
York and Prince William ; the Archbishop married 
them; the King talked to her the whole time with 
great good humour, and the Duke of Cumberland 
gave her away. Slie is not tall, nor a beauty ; pale, 
and very thin ; but looks sensible, and is genteel. 


Her hair is darkish and fine ; her forehead low, her 
nose very well, except the nostrils spreading too wide ; 
her mouth has the same fault, but her teeth are eood. 
She talks a good deal, and French tolerably ; possesses 
herself, is frank, but with great respect to the King. 
After the ceremony, the whole company came into the 
drawing-room for about ten minutes, but nobody was 
presented that night. The Queen was in white and 
silver ; an endless mantle of violet-coloured velvet, 
lined with ermine, and attempted to be fastened on 
her shoulder by a bunch of large pearls, dragged itself 
and almost the rest of her clothes halfway down her 
waist. On her head was a beautiful little tiara of 
diamonds ; a diamond necklace, and a stomacher of 
diamonds, worth three score thousand pounds, which 
she is to w^ear at the Coronation too. Her train was 
borne by the ten bridesmaids. Lady Sarah Lenox,' 
Lady Caroline Russell, Lady Caroline Montagu, Lady 
Harriot Bentinck, Lady Anne Hamilton, Lady Essex 
Kerr (daughters of Dukes of Richmond, Bedford, 
Manchester, Portland, Hamilton, and Roxburgh) ; and 
four daughters of the Earls of Albemarle, Brook, 
Harcourt, and Ilchester — Lady Elizabeth Keppel, 
Louisa Greville, Elizabeth Harcourt, and Susan Fox 
Strangways : their heads crowned with diamonds, and 

• Lady Sarah Lennox, in an account of a theatrical performance at 
Holland House in a previous letter, is described by Walpole as "more 
beautiful tiian you can conceive." The King himself admired her so 
greatly that he is believed to have had serious thoughts of choosing her 
to be his queen. She afterwards married Major G. Napier, and became 
the mother of Sir William and Sir Charles Napier. 


in robes of white and silver. Lady Caroline Russell 
is extremely handsome ; Lady Elizabeth Keppel very 
pretty ; but with neither features nor air, nothing ever 
looked so charming as Lady Sarah Lenox ; she has all 
the glow of beauty peculiar to her family. As supper 
was not ready, the Queen sat down, sung, and played 
on the harpsichord to the Royal Family, who all 
supped with her in private. They talked of the 
different German dialects ; the King asked if the 
Hanoverian was not pure — "Oh, no, Sir," said the 
Queen ; " it is the worst of all." — She will not be 

The Duke of Cumberland told the King that him- 
self and Lady Augusta were sleepy. The Queen was 
very averse to leave the company, and at last articled 
that nobody should accompany her but the Princess of 
Wales and her own two German women, and that 
nobody should be admitted afterwards but the King — 
they did not retire till between two and three. 

The next morning the King had a levee. He said 
to Lord Hardwicke, " It is a very fine clay : " that old 
gossip replied, "Yes, Sir, and it was a very fine night." 
Lord Bute had told the King that Lord Orford had 
betted his having a child before Sir James Lowther, 
who had been married the night before to Lord Bute's 
eldest daughter ; the King told Lord Orford he should 
be glad to go his halves. The bet was made with Mr. 
Rigby. Somebody asked the latter how he could be 
so bad a courtier as to bet against the King.-* He 
replied, " Not at all a bad courtier ; I betted Lord 
Bute's daughter against him." 


After the King's Levee there was a Drawing-room ; 
the Queen stood under the throne : the women were 
presented to her by the Duchess of Hamilton, and 
then the men by the Duke of Manchester ; but as she 
knew nobody, she was not to speak. At night there 
was a ball, drawing-rooms yesterday and to-day, and 
then a cessation of ceremony till the Coronation, 
except next Monday, when she is to receive the 
address of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, sitting on 
the throne attended by the bridesmaids. A ridiculous 
circumstance happened yesterday ; Lord Westmore- 
land, not very young nor clear-sighted, mistook Lady 
Sarah Lenox for the Queen, kneeled to her, and 
would have kissed her hand if she had not prevented 
him. People think that a Chancellor of Oxford was 
naturally attracted by the blood of Stuart. It is as 
comical to see Kitty Dashwood, the famous old beauty 
of the Oxfordshire Jacobites, living in the palace as 
Duenna to the Queen. She and Mrs. Boughton, 
iLord Lyttelton's ancient Delia, are revived again in 
a young court that never heard of them. There, I 
think, you could not have had a more circumstantial 
account of a royal wedding from the Heralds' Office. 
Adieu ! 

Yours to serve you, 

Horace Sandford. 
Mecklenburgh King-at-Arms. 



To THE Countess of Ailesbury. 

Strawberry Hill, Sept. 27, 1761. 

You are a mean, mercenary woman. If you did not 
want histories of weddings and coronations, and had 
not jobs to be executed about muslins, and a bit of 
china, and counterband goods, one should never hear 
of you. When you don't want a body, you can frisk 
about with greffiers and burgomasters, and be as merry 
in a dyke as my lady frog herself. The moment your 
curiosity is agog, or your cambric seized, you recollect 
a good cousin in England, and, as folks said two 
hundred years ago, begin to write " upon the knees 
of your heart." Well ! I am a sweet-tempered 
creature, I forgive you. 

My heraldry was much more offended at the Corona- 
tion with the ladies that did walk, than with those that 
walked out of their place ; yet I was not so pcrilo2isly 
angry as my Lady Cowper, who refused to set a foot 
with my Lady Macclesfield ; and when she was at last 
obliged to associate with her, set out on a round trot, 
as if she designed to prove the antiquity of her family 
by marching as lustily as a maid of honour of Queen 
Gwiniver. It was in truth a brave sight. The sea of 
heads in Palace-yard, the guards, horse and foot, the 
scaffolds, balconies, and procession exceeded imagina- 
tion. The Hall, when once illuminated, was noble ; 
but they suffered the whole parade to return into it in 


the dark, that his Majesty might be surprised with the 
quickness with which the sconces catched fire. The 
Champion acted well ; the other Paladins had neither 
the grace nor alertness of Rinaldo. Lord Effingham 
and the Duke of Bedford were but untoward knigfhts 
errant ; and Lord Talbot had not much more dignity 
than the figure of General Monk in the Abbey. The 
habit of the peers is unbecoming to the last degree ; 
but the peeresses made amends for all defects. Your 
daughter Richmond, Lady Kildare, and Lady Pem- 
broke were as handsome as the Graces. Lady Roch- 
ford, Lady Holdernesse, and Lady Lyttelton looked 
exceedingly well in that their day ; and for those of the 
day before, the Duchess of Queensbury, Lady West- 
moreland and Lady Albemarle were surprising. Lady 
Harrington was noble at a distance, and so covered 
with diamonds, that you would have thought she had 
bid somebody or other, like Falstaff, rob vie the 
Exchequer. Lady Northampton was very magnificent 
too, and looked prettier than I have seen her of late. 
Lady Spencer and Lady Bolingbroke were not the 
worst figures there. The Duchess of Ancaster 
[Mistress of the Robes] marched alone after the Queen 
with much majesty ; and there were two new Scotch 
peeresses that pleased everybody, Lady Sutherland 
and Lady Dunmore. Per contra, were Lady p * * *, 
who had put a wig on, and old E * * *, who had 
scratched hers off; Lady S * * *, the Dowager 
E * * *, and a Lady Say and Sele, with her tresses 
coal-black, and her hair coal-white. Well ! it was all 
delightful, but not half so charming as its being over. 


The gabble one heard about it for six weeks before, 
and the fatigue of the day, could not well be com- 
pensated by a mere puppet-show ; for puppet-show it. 
was, though it cost a million. The Queen is so gay 
that we shall not want sights ; she has been at the 
Opera, the Beggar's Opera and the Rehearsal, and two 
nio^hts aofo carried the Kino- to Ranela^h. 

Some of the peeresses were so fond of their robes, 
that they graciously exhibited themselves for a whole 
day before to all the company their servants could 
invite to see them. A maid from Richmond begged 
leave to stay in town because the Duchess of Montrose 
was only to be seen from two to four. The Heralds 
were so ignorant of their business, that, though 
pensioned for nothing but to register lords and ladies, 
and what belongs to them, they advertised in the 
newspaper for the Christian names and places of abode 
of the peeresses. The King complained of such 
omissions and of the want of precedent ; Lord Effing- 
ham, the Earl Marshal, told him, it was true there 
had been great neglect in that office, but he had now 
taken such care of registering directions, that next 
coronation would be conducted with the Qreatest order 
imaginable. The King was so diverted with this 
flattering speech that he made the earl repeat it 
several times. 

On this occasion one saw to how high-water-mark 
extravagance is risen in England. At the Coronation 
of George II. my mother gave forty guineas for a 
dining-room, scaffold, and bed-chamber. An exactly 
parallel apartment, only with rather a worse view, was 


this time set at three hundred and fifty guhieas — a 
tolerable rise in thirty-three years ! The platform 
from St. Margaret's Roundhouse to the church-door, 
which formerly let for forty pounds, went this time for 
two thousand four hundred pounds. Still more was 
given for the inside of the Abbey. The prebends 
would like a Coronation every year. The King paid 
nine thousand pounds for the hire of jewels ; indeed, 
last time, it cost my father fourteen hundred to bejewel 
my Lady Or ford. 



To THE Countess of Ailesbury. 

Arlington Street, N'ov. 28, 1761. 

Dear Madam, — You are so bad and so good, that 
I don't know how to treat you. You give me every 
mark of kindness but letting me hear from you. You 
send me charming drawings the moment I trouble you 
with a commission, and you give Lady Cecilia 
[Johnston] commissions for trifles of my writing, in 
the most obliging manner. I have taken the latter 
off her hands. The Fugitive Pieces, and the " Cata- 
logue of Royal and Noble Authors" shall be conveyed 
I to you directly. Lady Cecilia and I agree how we 
I lament the charming suppers there, every time we 
pass the corner of Warwick Street ! We have a little 
comfort for your sake and our own, in believing that 
the campaign is at an end, at least for this year — but 


they tell us, it is to recommence here or in Ireland. 
You have nothing to do with that. Our politics, I 
think, will soon be as warm as our war. Charles 
Townshend is to be lieutenant-general to Mr. Pitt. 
The Duke of Bedford is privy seal ; Lord Thomond, 
cofferer ; Lord George Cavendish, comptroller. 

Diversions, you know. Madam, are never at high- 
water mark before Christmas ; yet operas flourish 
pretty well : those on Tuesdays are removed to 
Mondays, because the Queen likes the burlettas, and 
the King cannot go on Tuesdays, his post-days. On 
those nights we have the middle front box, railed in, 
where Lady Mary [Coke] and I sit in triste state like 
a Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. The night 
before last there was a private ball at court, which 
began at half an hour after six, lasted till one, and 
finished without a supper. The King danced the 
whole time with the Queen, — Lady Augusta with her 
four younger brothers. The other performers were : 
the two Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton, who 
danced little ; Lady Effingham and Lady Egremont, 
who danced much ; the six maids of honour ; Lady 
Susan Stewart, as attending Lady Augusta ; and Lady 
Caroline Russel, and Lady Jane Stuart, the only 
women not of the family. Lady Northumberland is 
at Bath ; Lady Weymouth lies in ; Lady Bolingbroke 
was there in waiting, but in black gloves, so did not 
dance. The men, besides the royals, were Lords 
March and Eglintoun, of the bedchamber ; Lord 
Cantclupe, vice-chamberlain ; Lord Huntingdon ; and 
four strangers. Lord Mandcville, Lord Northampton, 


Lord Suffolk, and Lord Grey. No sitters-by, but the 
Princess, the Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Bute. 

If it had not been for this ball, I don't know how I 
should have furnished a decent letter. Pamphlets on 
Mr. Pitt ^ are the whole conversation, and none of them 
worth sending cross the water : at least I, who am 
said to write some of them, think so ; by which you 
may perceive I am not much flattered with the im- 
putation. There must be new personages, at least, 
before I write on any side. — Mr. Pitt and the Duke of 
Newcastle ! I should as soon think of informing the 
world that Miss Chudleigh is no vestal. You will like 
better to see some words which Mr. Gray has writ, 
at Miss Speed's request, to an old air of Geminiani ; 
the thought is from the French. 


Thyrsis, when we parted, swore 

Ere the spring he would return. 
Ah ! what means yon violet flower, 

And the bud that decks the thorn ! 
'Twas the lark that upward sprung, 
'Twas the nightingale that sung. 

Idle notes ! untimely green I 

Why this unavailing haste ! 
Western gales and skies serene 

Speak not always winter past. 
Cease my doubts, my fears to move ; 
Spare the honour of my love. 

Adieu, Madam, your most faithful servant. 

» Mr. Pitt had lately resigned the office of Secretary of State, on being 
outvoted in the Cabinet, which rejected his proposal to declare war 
against Spain ; and he had accepted a pension of i^3,ooo a year and 
a peerage for his wife— acts which Walpole condemns in more than one 
letter, and which provoked comments in many quarters. 



To Sir Horace Mann. ^ 

Arlington Street, Jan. 29, 1762. . 

I WISH you joy, sir minister; the Czarina [Elizabeth] 
is dead. As lue conquered America in Germany,^ I 
hope we shall overrun Spain by this burial at Peters- 
burg. Yet, don't let us plume ourselves too fast ; 
nothing is so like a Queen as a King, nothing so like 
a predecessor as a successor. The favourites of the 
Prince Royal of Prussia, who had suffered so much 
for him, were wofully disappointed, when he became 
the present glorious Monarch ; they found the English 
maxim true, that the King never dies ; that is, the 
dignity and passions of the Crown never die. We 
were not much less defeated of our hopes on the 
decease of Philip V. The Grand Duke 2 [Peter III.] 
has been proclaimed Czar at the army in Pomerania ; 
he may love conquest like that army, or not know it 
is conquering, like his aunt. However, we cannot 

' " Wc conquered America in GeriitanyJ' Tliis is a quotation from 
a boastful speech of Mr. Pitt's on the conquest of Canada. 

" The Grand Duke (Peter III.) was married, for his misfortune, to 
Catharine, a princess of Anhalt-Zcrbzt, whose lover, Count Orloft", mur- 
dered him before the end of the summer, at his wife's command ; and in 
August she assumed the government, and was crowned with all due 
solemnity as Czarina or Empress. Walpole had some reason for saying 
that " nothing was so like a predecessor as a successor," since in cha- 
racter Elizabeth closely resembled Catharine. 



suffer more by this event. I would part with the 
Empress Queen, on no better a prospect. 

We have not yet taken the galleons, nor destroyed 
the Spanish fleet. Nor have they enslaved Portugal, 
nor you made a triumphant entry into Naples. My 
dear sir, you see how lucky you were not to go 
thither ; you don't envy Sir James Grey, do you ? 
Pray don't make any categorical demands to jNIarshal 
Botta,^ and be obliged to retire to Leghorn, because 
they are not answered. We want allies ; preserve us 
our friend the Great Duke of Tuscany. I like 3'our 
answer to Botta exceedingly, but I fear the Court of 
Vienna is shame-proof. The Apostolic and Religious 
Empress is not a whit a better Christian, not a jot less 
a woman, than the late Russian Empress, who gave 
such proofs of her being a zuoman. 

We have a mighty expedition on the point of 
sailing ; the destination not disclosed. The German 
War loses ground daily ; however, all is still in 
embryo. My subsequent letters are not likely to be 
so barren, and indecisive. I write more to prove 
there is nothing, than to tell you anything. 

You were mistaken, I believe, about the Graftons ; 
they do not remove from Turin, till George Pitt 
arrives to occupy their house there. I am really 
anxious about the fate of my letter to the Duchess 
[of Grafton] ; I should be hurt if it had miscarried ; 
ishe would have reason to think me very ungrateful. 

I have given your letter to Mr. T[homas] Pitt ; he 

' Marshal T3otta was the Commander-in-chief in Tuscany. 
VOL. I. 16 


has been very unfortunate since his arrival — has lost 
his favourite sister in child-bed. Lord Tavistock, I 
hear, has written accounts of you that give me much 

I am ashamed to tell you that we are again dipped 
into an egregious scene of folly. The reigning 
fashion is a ghost ^ — a ghost, that would not pass 
muster in the paltriest convent in the Apennine. It 
only knocks and scratches ; does not pretend to appear 
or to speak. The clergy give it their benediction ; 
and all the world, whether believers or infidels, go to 
hear it. I, in which number you may guess, go to 
morrow ; for it is as much the mode to visit the ghost 
as the Prince of Mecklenburgh, who is just arrived. I 
have not seen him yet, though I have left my name 
for him. But I will tell you who is come too — Lady 
Mary Wortley.^ I went last night to visit her ; I give 


' It was known as the Cock-lane Ghost. A girl in that lane assertedl 
that she was nightly visited by a ghost, who could reveal a murder, andf 
who gave her tokens of his (or its) presence by knocks and scratches,fe|t 
which were audible to others in the room besides herself ; and at last|^ 
she went so far as to declare that the ghost ha(;J promised to attend i 
witness, who might be selected, into the vault under the Church of Stl 
John's, Clerkenwell, where the body of the supposed victim was buriedl 
Her story caused such excitement, that at last Dr. Johnson, Dr. DougUul 
(afterwards Bishop of Salisbury), and one or two other gentlemen, under 
took an investigation of the affair, which proved beyond all doubt that i 
was a trick, though they could not discover how it was performed, no 
could they make the girl confess ; and Johnson wrote an account of thei 
investigations and verdict, which was published in The GcntlemafC 
Magazific and the newspapers of the day (Boswcll's " Life of Johnson,^ 
ann. 1763). j 

' Lady Mary Wortley was a daughter of the Duke of Kingston an' 
wife of Mr. Wortley, our ambassador at Constantinople. She was th 
most accomplished lady of the eighteenth century. Christian Europe ij 


you my honour, and you who know her, would credit 
me without it, the following is a faithful description. 
I found her in a little miserable bedchamber of a 
ready-furnished house, with two tallow candles, and a 
bureau covered with pots and pans. On her head, in 
full of all accounts, she had an old black-laced hood, 
wrapped entirely round, so as to conceal all hair or 
want of hair. No handkerchief, but up to her chin a 

indebted to her for the introduction of the practice of inoculation for the 
smallpox, of which she heard during her residence in Turkey, and of the 
efficacy of which she was so convinced that she caused her own children 
to be inoculated ; and, by publishing its success in their case, she led 
to its general adoption. It saved innumerable lives in the eighteenth 
centuiy, and was, in fact, the parent of the vaccination which has super- 
seded it, and which is merely inoculation with matter derived from 
another source, the cow. She was also an authoress of considerable 
repute for lyric odes and vers de socicte, &c., and, above all, for her 
letters, most of which are to her daughter. Lady Bute (as Mme. de 
Sevigne's are to her daughter, Mme. de Grignan), and which are in 
no respect inferior to those of the French lady in sprightly wit, while in 
the variety of their subjects they are far superior, as giving the account 
of Turkish scenery and manners, and also of those of other countries 
which her husband visited on various diplomatic missions, while Mme. 
de Sevigne's are for the greater part confined to the gossip of the coteries 
of Paris. Her works occupy five volumes ; but what we have is but a 
small part of what we might have had. D'Israeli points out that "we 
have lost much valuable literature by the illiberal or malignant descen- 
dants of learned and ingenious persons. Many of Lady Mary Wortley 
Montague's letters have been destroyed, I am informed, by her 
daughters, who imagined that the family honours were lowered by the 
addition of those of literature. Some of her best letters, recently pub- 
lished, were found buried in an old trunk. It would have mortified her 
ladyship's daughter to have heard that her mother was the Sevignd of 
Britain" ("Curiosities of Literature," i. 54) ; and, as will be seen in a 
subsequent letter (No. 67), Walpole corroborates D'Israeli. Lady Mary 
was at one time a friend and correspondent of Pope, who afterwards, for 
some unknown reason, quarrelled with her, and made her the subject 
of some of the most disgraceful libels that ever proceeded from even 
lis pen. 


kind of horseman's riding-coat, calling itself a pet-en- 
I'air, made of a dark green (green I think it had been) 
brocade, with coloured and silver flowers, and lined 
with furs ; boddice laced, a foul dimity petticoat 
sprig'd, velvet muffeteens on her arms, grey stockings 
and slippers. Her face less changed in twenty years 
than I could have imagined ; I told her so, and she 
was not so tolerable twenty years ago that she needed 
have taken it for flattery, but she did, and literally 
gave me a box on the ear. She is very lively, all her 
senses perfect, her languages as imperfect as ever, her 
avarice sfreater. She entertained me at first with 
nothing but the dearness of provisions at Helvoet. 
With nothing but an Italian, a French, and a 
Prussian, all men servants, and something she calls an 
old secretary, but whose age till he appears will be 
doubtful ; she receives all the world, who go to homage 
her as Queen Mother,^ and crams them into this 
kennel. The Duchess of Hamilton, who came in just 
after me, was so astonished and diverted, that she 
could not speak to her for laughing. She says that 
she has left all her clothes at Venice. I really pity : 
Lady Bute ; what will the progress be of such a 
commencement ! 

The King of France has avowed a natural son,- and ' 
given him the estate which came from Marshal ' 
Belleisle, with the title of Comte de Gisors. The 
mother I think is called Matignon or Maquignon. ' 

' She was mollicr of Lady Bute, wife of the Prime Minister.— 
WALroi.K. ■' Tills was a false report. — Walpole. 



Madame Pompadour was the Bathsheba that in 
troduced this Abishag. Adieu, my dear sir ! 


To THE Rev. Henry Zouch. 

Arlington Street, March 20, 1762. 

I AM glad you are pleased, Sir, with my " Anecdotes 
of Painting ; " but I doubt you praise me too much : it 
was an easy task when I had the materials collected, 
and I would not have the labours of forty years, which 
was Vertue's case, depreciated in compliment to the 
ivork of four months, which is almost my whole merit. 
jStyle is become, in a manner, a mechanical affair, and 
"f to much ancient lore our antiquaries would add a 
Jttle modern reading, to polish their language and 
!:orrect their prejudices, I do not see why books of 

mtiquities should not be made as amusing as writings 
pn any other subject. If Tom Hearne had lived in the 
'ivorld, he might have writ an agreeable history of 

l.mcing ; at least, I am sure that many modern volumes 

ire read for no reason but for their being penned in 

he dialect of the age. 
I am much beholden to you, dear Sir, for your 
marks ; they shall have their due place whenever the 
irk proceeds to a second edition, for that the nature 

't it as a record will ensure to it. A few of your notes 


demand a present answer : the Bishop of Imola pro- 
nounced the nuptial benediction at the marriage of 
Henry VII., which made me suppose him the person 
represented. I 

Burnet, who was more a judge of characters than 
statues, mentions the resemblance between Tiberius, 
and Charles II.; but, as far as countenances went, 
there could not be a more ridiculous prepossession; 
Charles had a long face, with very strong lines, and a 
narrowish brow ; Tiberius a very square face, and flat 
forehead, with features rather delicate in proportion. 
I have examined this imaginary likeness, and see no 
kind of foundation for ic. It is like Mr. Addison's 
Travels,- of which it was so truly said, he might have 
composed them without stirring out of England. 
There are a kind of naturalists who have sorted out 
the qualities of the mind, and allotted particular turns 
of features and complexions to them. It would be 
much easier to prove that every form has been 
endowed with every vice. One has heard much 
of the vigour of Burnet himself ; yet I dare to say, 
he did not think himself like Charles II. 

I am grieved, Sir, to hear that your eyes suffer ; 
take care of them ; nothing can replace the satisfaction 
they afford : one should hoard them, as the only friend 

■ In a previous letter Walpolc mentions that Vertue (the engraver) had 
disputed the suljject of this piclvn-e, because the face of the King did notjj 
resemble other pictures of him ; but Walpole was convinced of the correct- 
ness of his description of it, because it does resemble the face on Henry's 
shillings, "which are more authentic than pictures." 

-' It is Fielding who, in his "Voyage to Lisbon," gave this character 
to Addison's " Travels." 


that will not be tired of one when one grows old, and 
when one should least choose to depend on others for 
entertainment. I most sincerely wish you happiness 
and health in that and every other instance. 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Aug. 12, 1762. 

A Prince of Wales [George IV.] was born this 
morning ; the prospect of your old neighbour [the 
Pretender] at Rome does not Improve ; the House of 
Hanover will have numbers in its own family sufficient 
to defend their crown — unless they marry a Princess 
of Anhalt Zerbst. What a shocking tragedy that has 
proved already ! There is a manifesto arrived to-day 
that makes one shudder ! This northern Athaliah, 
who has the modesty not to name her murdered 
Jmsbandm that light, calls him her neighbotir ; and, as 
if all the world were savages, like Russians, pretends 
that he died suddenly of a distemper that never was 
•xpeditious ; mocks Heaven with pretensions to 
harity and piety; and heaps the additional Inhumanity 
on the man she has dethroned and assassinated, of 
imputing his death to a judgment from Providence. 
In short, it is the language of usurpation and blood, 


counselled and apologised for by clergymen ! It is 
Brunehault ' and an archbishop ! 

I have seen Mr. Keith's first despatch ; in general, 
my account was tolerably correct ; but he does not 
mention Ivan. The conspiracy advanced by one of 
the gang being seized, though for another crime ; they 
thought themselves discovered. Orloff, one of them, 
hurried to the Czarina, and told her she had no time 
to lose. She was ready for anything ; nay, marched 
herself at the head of fourteen thousand men and a 

' Brunehault (in modern English histories called Brunhild) was the 
wife of Sigebert, King of Austrasia (that district of France which 
lies between the Meuse and the Rhine) and son of Clotaire I. The 
" Biographic Universelle " says of her : " This Princess, attrac- 
tive by her beauty, her wit, and her carriage, had the misfortune 
to possess a great ascendency over her husband, and to have lost 
sight of the fact that even sovereigns cannot always avenge them- 
selves with impunity." Her sister, Galswith, the wife of Chilperic, King 
of Neustria, between the Loire and the Meuse, had been assassinated 
by Fredegonde, and Brunehault, determined to avenge her, induced 
Sigebert to make war on Chilperic, who had married Fredegonde. He 
gained a victory ; but Fredegonde contrived to have him also assassi- 
nated, and Brunehault became Fredegonde's prisoner. But Murovde, 
son of Chilperic, fell in love with her, and married her, and escaping 
from Rouen, fled into Austrasia. At last, in 595, Fredegonde died, and 
Brunehault subdued the greater part of Neustria, and ruled with great 
but unscrupulous energy. She encouraged St. Augustine in his mission 
to England ; she built hospitals and churches, earning by her zeal in such 
works a letter of panegyric from Pope Gregory the Great. But, old as 
she was, she at the same time gave herself up to a life of outrageous 
license. It was not, however, her dissolute life which proved fatal to her, 
but the design which she showed to erect a firm monarchy in Austrasia 
and Neustria, by putting down the overgrown power of the nobles. They 
raised an army to attack her ; she was defeated, and with four of her 
great-grandchildren, the sons of her grandson. King Theodoric, who had 
been left to her guardianship, fell into the hands of the nobles, who put 
her to death with every circumstance of cruelty and indignity. (See 
Kitchin's " History of l'"rance," i. 91.) 


train of artillery against her husband, but not being 
the only Alecto in Muscovy, she had been aided by a 
Princess Daschkaw, a nymph under twenty, and sister 
to the Czar's mistress. It was not the latter, as I told 
you, but the Chancellor's wife, who offered up the 
order of St. Catherine. I do not know how my Lord 
Buckingham [the English Minister at St. Petersburg] 
feels, but unless to conjure up a tempest against this 
fury of the north, nothing could bribe me to set my 
foot in her dominions. Had she been priestess of the 
Scythian Diana, she would have sacrificed her brother 
by choice. It seems she does not degenerate ; her 
mother was ambitious and passionate for intrigues ; 
she went to Paris, and dabbled in politics with all her 

The world had been civilisinQf itself till one becfan 
to doubt whether ancient histories were not ancient 
legends. Voltaire had unpoisoned half the victims to 
the Church and to ambition. Oh ! there never was 
such a man as Borgia ^ ; the league seemed a romance. 
For the honour of poor historians, the assassinations 
of the Kings of France and Portugal, majesties still 
living in spite of Damien an^ the Jesuits, and the 
•dethronement and murder of the Czar, have restored 
some credibility to the annals of former ages. Tacitus 
recovers his character by the edition of Petersburg. 

We expect the definitive courier from Paris every 
day. Now it is said that they ask time to send to 

' Coigia, the father, was Pope Sextus VI. ; Caesar Borgia was the son — 
both equally infamous for their crimes, and especially their murders by 


Spain. What ? to ask leave to desert them ! The 
Spaniards, not so expeditious in usurpation as the 
Muscovites, have made no progress in Portugal. 
Their absurd manifestoes appeared too soon. The 
Czarina and Princess Daschkaw stay till the stroke is 
struck. Really, my dear Sir, your Italy is growing 
unfashionably innocent, — if you don't take care, the 
Archbishop of Novgorod will deserve, by his crimes, 
to be at the head of the Christian Church.^ I fear my 
friend, good Benedict, infected you all with his virtues. 

You see how this Russian revolution has seized 
every cell in my head — a Prince of Wales is passed 
over in a line, the peace in another line. I have not 
even told you that the treasure of the Hermione,'^- 
reckoned eight hundred thousand pounds, passed the 
end of my street this morning in one-and-twenty 
waggons. Of the Havannah I could tell you nothing 
if I would ; people grow impatient at not hearing from 
thence. Adieu ! 

You see I am a punctual correspondent when 
Empresses commit murders. : 

' That is, Pope Benedict XIV. 

^ In August, 1761, Sir G. Pocock took Havannah, the capital of Cuba.. 
In September Commodore Cornish and Colonel Draper took Manilla,, 
the principal of the Philippine Islands ; and the treasures found in 
Manilla alone exceeded the sum here mentioned by Walpole, and yet. 
did not equal those brought home from the Havannah, as Walpole 
mentions in a suljsequent letter. 



To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 

Strawberry Hill, Sept. 9, 1762. 

Nondum laurus erat, longoque decentia crine 
Tempora cingebat de qualibet arbore Phcebus.' 

This is a hint to you, that as Phoebus, who was 
certainly your superior, could take up with a chestnut 
garland, or any crown he found, you must have the 
humility to be content without laurels, when none are 
to be had : you have hunted far and near for them, 
and taken true pains to the last in that old nursery- 
garden Germany, and by the way have made me 
shudder with your last journal : but you must be easy 
with qualibet other arbore; you must come home to 
your own plantations. The Duke of Bedford is gone 
in a fury to make peace,- for he cannot be even pacific 
with temper ; and by this time I suppose the Duke de 
Nivernois is unpacking his portion of olive dans la me 
de Sttffolk Street. I say, I suppose — for I do not, like 
my friends at Arthur's, whip into my post-chaise to see 

' The quotation is from Ovid, Met. i. 450. 

^ " On the 6th of September the Duke of Bedford embarked as 
ambassador from England ; on the 12th the Due de Nivernois landed 
as ambassador from France. Of these two noblemen, Bedford, though 
well versed in afiairs, was perhaps by his hasty temper in some degree 
disqualified for the profession of a Temple or a Gondomar ; and Niver- 
nois was only celebrated for his graceful manners and iiis pretty songs'' 
(Lord Stanhope, " History of England," c. 38). 


every novelty. My two sovereigns, the Duchess of 
Grafton and Lady Mary Coke, are arrived, and yet 
I have seen neither Polly nor Lucy. The former, 
I hear, is entirely French ; the latter as absolutely 

Well ! but if you insist on not doffing your cuirass, 
you may find an opportunity of wearing it. The 
storm thickens. The City of London are ready to 
hoist their standard ; treason is the bon-ton at that end 
of the town ; seditious papers pasted up at every 
corner : nay, my neighbourhood is not unfashionable ; 
we have had them at Brentford and Kingston. The 
Peace is the cry ; ^ but to make weight, they throw in 
all the abusive ingredients they can collect. They talk 
of your friend the Duke of Devonshire's resigning ; 
and, for the Duke of Newcastle, it puts him so much 
in mind of the end of Queen Anne's time, that I 
believe he hopes to be Minister again for another forty 

In the mean time, there are but dark news from the 
Havannah ; the Gazette, who would not fib for the 
world, says, we have lost but four officers ; the World, 
who is not quite so scrupulous, says, our loss is heavy. 
— But what shocking notice to those who have Harry 

'^ " The Peace is the cry" This was the peace of Paris, not absolutely 
concluded till February of the next year. The conditions in our favour 
were so inadequate to our successes in the war, that the treaty caused 
general indignation ; so great, indeed, that Lord Bute, the Prime 
Minister, was afraid to face the meeting of Parliament, and resigned 
liis office, in which he was succeeded by Mr. George Chenvillc. It was 
the subject of severe, but not undeserved comment in the celebrated 
IslorlJi Jhi/on, No. 45, by Wilkes. 


Conways there ! The Gazette breaks off with saying, 
that they were to storm the next day ! Upon the 
whole, it is regarded as a preparative to worse news. 

Our next monarch [George IV.] was christened last 
night, George Augustus Frederick ; the Princess, the 
Duke of Cumberland, and Duke of Mecklenburgh, 
sponsors ; the ceremony performed by the Bishop of 
London. The Queen's bed, magnificent, and they 
say in taste, was placed in the great drawing-room : 
though she is not to see company in form, yet it looks 
as if they had intended people should have been there, 
as all who presented themselves were admitted, which 
were very few, for it had not been notified ; I suppose 
to prevent too great a crowd : all I have heard named, 
besides those in waiting, were the Duchess of Queens- 
berry, Lady Dalkeith, Mrs. Grenville, and about four 
more ladies. 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 3, 1762. 
I am now only the peace in your debt, for here is the 
Havannah. Here it is, following despair and accom- 
panied by glory, riches, and twelve ships-of-thc-line ; 
not all in person, for four are destroyed. The booty — 
that is an undignified term — I should say, the plunder, 
or the spoils, which is a more classic word for such 


heroes as we are, amounts to at least a million and a 
half. Lord Albemarle's share will be about ^140,000. 
I wish I knew how much that makes in talents or orreat 
sesterces. What to me is better than all, we have lost 
but sixteen hundred men ; bid, alas ! Most of the 
sick recovered ! What an affecting object my Lady 
Albemarle would make in a triumph, surrounded by 
her three victorious sons ; for she had three at stake ! 
My friend Lady Hervey,^ too, is greatly happy ; her son 
Augustus distinguished himself particularly, brought 
home the news, and on his way took a rich French 
ship going to Newfoundland with military stores. I 
do not surely mean to detract from him, who set all 
this spirit on float, but you see we can conquer, though 
Mr. Pitt is at his plough. 

The express arrived while the Duke de Nivernois 
was at dinner with Lord Bute. The world says, that 
the joy of the company showed itself with too little 
politeness — I hope not ; I would not exult to a single 
man, and a minister of peace ; it should be in the 
face of Europe, if I assumed that dominion which the 
French used to arrogate ; nor do I believe it happened ; 
all the company are not so charmed with the event. 
They are not quite convinced that it will facilitate the 

' Lady Hervey, the widow of Pope's Lord Fanny and Sporus, had 
been the beautiful " Molly Lepcl," celebrated by Lord Chesterfield. 

Had I Hanover, Bremen, and Verden 

And likewise the Duchy of Zell, 
I would part with them all for a farden, 

Compared with sweet Molly Lepel. 

Three of her sons succedcd to the Karldom of Bristol. 



pacification, nor am I clear it will. The City of London 
will not lower their hopes, and views, and expectations, 
on this acquisition. Well, if we can steer wisely 
between insolence from success and impatience for 
peace, we may secure our safety and tranquillity for 
many years. But they are not yet arrived, nor hear 
I anything that tells me the peace will certainly be 
made. France zuants peace ; I question if she wishes 
it. How his Catholic royalty will take this, one cannot 
guess. My good friend, we are not at table with 
Monsieur de Nivernols, so we may smile at this conse- 
quence of the family-compact. Twelve ships-of-the- 
line and the Havannah ! — it becomes people who can- 
not keep their own, to divide the world between them ! 

Your nephew Foote has made a charming figure ; 
the King and Queen went from Windsor to see Eton ; 
he is captain of the Oppidans, and made a speech to 
them with great applause. It was in English, which 
was right ; why should we talk Latin to our Kings 
rather than Russ or Iroquois ? Is this a season for 
being ashamed of our country '^. Dr. Barnard, the 
master, is the Pitt of masters, and has raised the 
school to the most flourishing state it ever knew. 

Lady Mary Wortley ^ has left twenty-one large 

= In a note to this letter, subsequently added by Walpole, he reduces 
this statement to seventeen, saying : " It was true that Lady Mary did 
leave seventeen volumes of her works and memories. She gave her 
letters from Constantinople to Mr. Sowden, minister of the English 
Church at Rotterdam, who published them ; and, the day before she 
died, she gave him those seventeen volumes, with injunctions to publish 
them too; but in two days the man had a crown living from Lord Bute, 
and Lady Bute had the seventeen volumes." 


volumes in prose and verse, in manuscript ; nineteen 
are fallen to Lady Bute, and will not see the light in 
haste. The other two Lady Mary in her passage gave 
to somebody in Holland, and at her death expressed 
great anxiety to have them published. Her family 
are in terrors lest they should be, and have tried to get 
them : hitherto the man is inflexible. Though I do 
not doubt but they are an olio of lies and scandal, I 
should like to see them. She had parts, and had seen 
much. Truth is often at bottom of such compositions, 
and places itself here and there without the intention 
of the mother. I dare say in general, these works are 
like Madame del Pozzo's Memoires. Lady Mary had 
more wit, and something more delicacy ; their manners 
and morals were a good deal more alike. 

There is a lad, a waiter at St. James's coffee-house, 
of thirteen years old, who says he does not wonder we 
beat the French, for he himself could thrash Monsieur 
de Nivernois. This duke is so thin and small, that 
when minister at Berlin, at a time that France was not 
in favour there, the King of Prussia said, if his eyes 
were a little older, he should want a glass to see the 
embassador. I do not admire this bon-mot. Voltaire 
is continuing his "Universal History"; he showed 
the Duke of Grafton a chapter, to which the tide 
is, Les Anglois vainqucurs dans Ics Quatrcs Parties du 
Monde. There have been minutes in the course of 
our correspondence when you and I did not expect 
to see this chapter. It is bigger by a quarter than 
our predecessors the Romans had any pretensions 
to, and larger than I hope our descendants will see 


written of them, for conquest, unless by necessity, as 
ours has been, is an odious glory ; witness my hand 

H. Walpole. 

P.S. — I recollect that my last letter was a little 
melancholy; this, to be sure, has a grain or two of 
national vanity ; why, I must own I am a miserable 

ij philosopher ; the weather of the hour does affect me. 

9 I cannot here, at a distance from the world and un- 

'■* concerned in it, help feeling a little satisfaction when 
my country is successful ; yet, tasting its honours and 
elated with them, I heartily, seriously wish they had 
their quietus. What is the fame of men compared to 
their happiness ? Who gives a nation peace, gives 

1 1 tranquillity to all. How many must be wretched, 
before one can be renowned ! A hero bets the lives 
and fortunes of thousands, whom he has no riMit to 

s game with : but alas ! Cresars have little regard to 
their fish and counters ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

; Strawberry Hill, y^/rz7 30, 1763. 

; ! The papers have told you all the formal changes ; 
• j the real one consists solely in Lord Bute being out of 
":i office, for, having recovered his fright, he is still as 
j much Minister as ever, and consequently does not 
< j find his unpopularity decrease. On the contrary, I 
think his situation more danorerous than e\'er : he has 

VOL. 1. 17 


done enough to terrify his friends, and encourage his 
enemies, and has acquired no new strength ; rather 
has lost strength, by the disappearance of Mr. Fox 
from the scene. His deputies, too, will not long care 
to stand all the risk for him, when they perceive, as 
they must already, that they have neither credit nor 
confidence. Indeed the new administration is a 
general joke, and will scarce want a violent death to 
put an end to it. Lord Bute is very blamable for 
embarking the King so deep in measures that may 
have so serious a termination. The longer the Court 
can stand its ground, the more firmly will the opposi- 
tion be united, and the more inflamed. I have ever 
thought this would be a turbulent reign, and nothing 
has happened to make me alter my opinion. 

Mr. Fox's exit has been very unpleasant. He 
would not venture to accept the Treasury, which 
Lord Bute would have bequeathed to him ; and could 
not obtain an earldom, for which he thought he had 
stipulated ; but some of the negotiators asserting that 
he had engaged to resign the Paymaster's place, which 
he vehemently denies, he has been forced to take up 
with a barony, and has broken with his associates — 
I do not say friends, for with the chief of tkeni ^ he had 
quarrelled when he embarked in the new system. Heji 
meets with little pity, and yet has found as muchf 
ingratitude as he had had power of doing service. 

I am glad you are going to have a great duke ; i 
will amuse you, and a new Court will make Florence 

' '• The chief of ihcm." Walpolc himself explains in a note that he 
means the Dukes of Cumbeihuul and Dcvon.sliirc. 


lively, the only beauty It wants. You divert me with 
my friend the Duke of Modena's conscientious match : 
if the Duchess had outlived him, she would not have 
been so scrupulous. But, for Hymen's sake, who is 
that Madame SimonettI } I trust, not that old 
painted, gaming, debauched Countess from Milan, 
whom I saw at the fair of Reggio ! 

I surprise myself with being able to write two pages 
of pure English ; I do nothing but deal in broken 
French. The two nations are crossing over and 
figuring-In. We have had a Count d'Usson and his 
wife these six weeks ; and last Saturday arrived a 
Madame de Boufflers, sfavante, galante, a great friend 
of the Prince of ContI, and a passionate admirer de 
nous atiires Anglois. I am forced to live much with 
tout fa, as they are perpetually at my Lady Hervey's; 
and as my Lord Hertford goes ambassador to Paris, 
where I shall certainly make him a visit next year — 
don't you think I shall be computing how far it Is to 
Florence? There is coming, too, a Marquis de Fleury,^ 
who is to be consigned to me, as a political relation, 
v/l famitid entre le Cardinal son ancle et feu monsietir 
man pere. However, as my cousin Fleury is not 

' Cardinal Fleury, Prime Minister of France from 1727 to 1742. Pope 
lebratcd his love of peace — 

Peace is my dear delight, not Fleury's more ; 

id by his resolute maintenance of peace during the first seven years of 

IS administration he had so revived the resources and restored the 
ivver of his country, that when the question of going to war with France 
IS discussed in the Council of Vienna the veteran Prince Eugene 
irned the Ministers that his wise and prudent administration had 

' '-n so beneficial to his country that the Empire was no longer a 

latch for it. 


above six-and-twenty, I had much rather be excused 
from such a commission as showino^ the Tombs and 
the Lions, and the King and Queen, and my Lord 
Bute, and the Waxwork, to a boy. All this breaks in 
upon my plan of withdrawing by little and little from 
the world, for I hate to tire it with an old lean face, 
and which promises to be an old lean face for thirty 
years longer, for I am as well again as ever. The 
Due de Nivernois called here the other day in his way 
from Hampton Court ; but, as the most sensible 
French never have eyes to see anything, unless they 
see it every day and see It in fashion, I cannot say he 
flattered me much, or was much struck with Straw- 
berry. When I carried him Into the Cabinet, which 
I have told you is formed upon the idea of a Catholic 
chapel, he pulled off his hat, but perceiving his error, 
he said, " Ce nest pas 2iiie chapelle pourtant',' and 
seemed a little displeased. 

My poor niece [Lady Waldegrave] does not forget 
her Lord, though by this time I suppose the world 
has. She has taken a house here, at Twickenham, to 
be near me. Madame de Boufflers has heard so much 
of her beauty, that she told me she should be glad to 
peep through a grate anywhere to get a glimpse of 
her, — but at present It would not answer. I never saw 
so great an alteration In so short a period ; but she is 
too young not to recover her beauty, only dimmed by 
grief that must be temporary. Adieu ! my dear Sir. 

Monday, May 2nd, Arungton Street. |jf.>i 
The plot thickens : Mr. Wilkes Is sent to the Tower f' 



for the last North Brito7i ; ^ a paper whose fame must 
have reached you. It said Lord Bute had made the 
King utter a gross falsehood in his last speech. This 
hero is as bad a fellow as ever hero was, abominable 
in private life, dull in Parliament, but, they say, very 
entertaining in a room, and certainly no bad writer, 
besides having had the honour of contributing a great 
deal to Lord Bute's fall. Wilkes fought Lord Talbot 
in the autumn, whom he had abused ; and lately in 
Calais, when the Prince de Croy, the Governor, asked 
how far the liberty of the press extended in England, 
replied, I cannot tell, but I am trying to know. I 
clon't believe this will be the only paragraph I shall 
send you on this affair. 


To George Montagu, Esq. 

Strawberry Hill, May 17, 1763. 

" On vient de nous donner une tres jolie fete au 
chateau de Straberri : tout etoit tapisse de narcisses, 
de tulipes, et de lilacs ; des cors de chasse, des 
clarionettes ; des petits vers galants faits par des fees, 
et qui se trouvoient sous la presse ; des fruits a la 
glace, du the, du caffe, des biscuits, et force hot-rolls." 
— This is not the beginning of a letter to you, but of 
one that I might suppose sets out to-night for Paris, 

' The celebrated No. 45 which attacked the speech with which the 

';ing had opened Parliament ; asserting that it was the speech not of the 

ing, but of the Ministers ; and that as such he had a right to criticise it, 

;id to denounce its panegyric of the late speech as founded on falsehood. 


or rather, which I do not suppose will set out thither ; 
for though the narrative is circumstantially true, I don't 
believe the actors were pleased enough with the scene, 
to give so favourable an account of it. 

The French do not come hither to see. A VAnglaise 
happened to be the word in fashion ; and half a dozen 
of the most fashionable people have been the dupes of 
it. I take for granted that their next mode will be a 
r Iroqitaise, that they may be under no obligation of 
realising their pretensions. Madame de Boufflers ^ I 
think will die a martyr to a taste, which she fancied 
she had, and finds she has not. Never having stirred 
ten miles from Paris, and having only rolled in an easy 
coach from one hotel to another on a gliding pave- 
ment, she is already worn out with being hurried from 
morning till night from one sight to another. She 
rises every morning so fatigued with the toils of the 

' Boswell records Mr. Beauclerk's account of his introduction of thiS; 
lady to Johnson : " When Mme. de Boufiflers was first in England she 
was desirous to see Johnson. I accordingly went with her to his 
chambers in the Temple, where she was entertained with his conver- 
sation for some time. When our visit was over, she and I left him, and 
were got into Inner Temple Lane, when, all at once, I heard a noise like 
thunder. This was occasioned by Johnson, who, it seems, upon a little 
recollection, had taken it into his head that he ought to have done the 
honours of his literary residence to a foreign lady of quality, and, eagei 
to show himself a man of gallantry, was hurrying down the staircase in 
evident agitation. He overtook us before we reached the Temple Gate 
and brushing in between mc and Mmc. de Boufflers, seized her hand anc 
conducted her to her coach. His dress was a rusty brown morning suit 
a pair of old shoes by way of slippers, a little shrivelled wig sticking or 
the top of his head, and the sleeves of his shirt and the knees of hi 
breeches hanging loose. A considerable crowd of people gathered round 
and were not a little struck by this singular appearance " (vol. ii., ann 


preceding day, that she has not strength, if she had 
inclination, to observe the least, or the finest thing she 
sees ! She came hither to-day to a great breakfast I 
made for her, with her eyes a foot deep in her head, 
her hands dangling, and scarce able to support her 
knitting-bag. She had been yesterday to see a ship 
launched, and went from Greenwich by water to 
Ranelagh. Madame Dusson, who is Dutch-built, and 
whose muscles are pleasure-proof, came with her ; 
there were besides. Lady Mary Coke, Lord and Lady 
Holdernesse, the Duke and Duchess of Grafton, Lord 
Hertford, Lord Villiers, Offley, Messieurs de Fleury, 
D'Eon,^ et Duclos.^ The latter is author of the Life 
of Louis Onze ; dresses like a dissenting minister, 
which I suppose is the livery of a bel esprit^ and is 
much more impetuous than agreeable. We break- 
fasted in the great parlour, and I had filled the hall 
and large cloister by turns with French horns and 
clarionettes. As the French ladies had never seen a 
printing-house, I carried them into mine ; they found 
something ready set, and desiring to see what it was, 
it proved as follows : — 

The Press speaks — 

For Madame De Boufflers. 

The graceful fair, who loves to know, 
Nor dreads the north's inclement snow ; 

' This gentleman was at this time secretary to the Due de Nivernois. 
For many years he dressed in woman's clothes, and the question of his 
sex was made the subject of many wagers and trials botli in England and 

'-■ M. Duclos was an author of good repute as a novelist, and one of the 
contributors to the " Dictionnaire de I'Academie." 


Who bids her polish'd accent wear 
The British diction's harsher air ; 
Shall read her praise in every clime 
Where types can speak or poets rhyme. 

For Madame Dusson. 

Feign not an ignorance of what I speak ; 
You could not miss my meaning were it Greek : 
'Tis the same language Belgium utter'd first, 
The same which from admiring Gallia burst. 
True sentiment a like expression pours ; 
Each country says the same to eyes like yours. 

You will comprehend that the first speaks English, 
and that the second does not ; that the second is 
handsome, and the first not ; and that the second was 
born in Holland. This little gentilesse pleased, and 
atoned for the popery of my house, which was not 
serious enough for Madame cle Bouft^ers, who is 
Montmorency, ei dit sang du premier Chrdtien ; and 
too serious for Madame Dusson, who is a Dutch 
Calvinist. The latter's husband was not here, nor 
Drumgold, who have both got fevers, nor the Due de 
Nivernois, who dined at Claremont. The Gallery is 
not advanced enough to give them any idea at all, 
as they are not apt to go out of their way for one ; but 
the Cabinet, and the glory of yellow glass at top, 
which had a charming sun for a foil, did surmount 
their indifference, especially as they were animated by 
the Duchess of Grafton, who had never happened to 
be here before, and who perfectly entered into the air 
of enchantment and fairyism, which is the tone of the 
place, and was peculiarly so to-day — apropos, when do 
you design to come hither } Let me know, that I 


may have no measures to interfere with receiving you 
and vour orrandsons. 

Before Lord Bute ran away, he made Mr. Bentley ^ 
a Commissioner of the Lottery ; I don't know whether 
a single or a double one : the latter, which I hope it is, 
is two hundred a-year. 

Thin'sday igth. 
I am ashamed of myself to have nothing but a 
journal of pleasures to send you ; I never passed a 
more agreeable day than yesterday. Miss Pelham 
gave the French an entertainment at Esher ; - but they 
have been so feasted and amused, that none of them 
were well enough, or reposed enough, to come, but 
Nivernois and Madame Dusson. The rest of the 
company were, the Graftons, Lady Rockingham, Lord 
and Lady Pembroke, Lord and Lady Holdernesse, 
Lord Villiers, Count Woronzow the Russian minister, 
Lady Sondes, Mr. and Miss Mary Pelham, Lady 
Mary Coke, Mrs. Anne Pitt, and Mr. Shelley. The 
day was delightful, the scene transporting ; the trees, 
lawns, concaves, all in the perfection in which the 
ghost of Kent 3 would joy to see them. At twelve we 
made the tour of the farm in eight chaises and calashes, 
horsemen, and footmen, setting out like a picture of 
Wouverman's. My lot fell in the lap of Mrs. Anne 

' Mr. Bentley, who was an occasional correspondent of Walpole, was 
a son of the great Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

' '* Esher." Claremont, at Esher, now the property of the Queen, and 
residence of the Duchess of Albany, at this time belonged to the Duke 
of Newcastle, Miss Pelham's uncle. 

3 Kent was the great landscape gardener of the last generation. 


Pitt, which I could have excused, as she was not at all 
in the style of the day, romantic, but political. We 
had a magnificent dinner, cloaked in the modesty of 
earthenware ; French horns and hautboys on the 
lawn. We v/alked to the Belvidere on the summit 
of the hill, where a theatrical storm only served to 
heighten the beauty of the landscape, a rainbow on 
a dark cloud falling precisely behind thetower of a 
neighbouring church, between another t^ower and the 
building at Claremont. Monsieur de Nivernois, who 
had been absorbed all day, and lagging behind, trans- 
lating my verses, was delivered of his version, and 
of some more lines which he wrote on Miss Pelham 
in the Belvidere, while we drank tea and coffee. 
From thence we passed into the wood, and the ladies 
formed a circle on chairs before the mouth of the cave, 
which was overhung to a vast height with woodbines, 
lilacs, and laburnums, and dignified by the tall shapely 
cypresses. On the descent of the hill were placed the 
French horns ; the abigails, servants, and neighbours 
wandering below by the river ; in short, it was Par- 
nassus, as Watteau would have painted it. Here we 
had a rural syllabub, and part of the company returned 
to town ; but were replaced by Giardini and Onofrio, 
who with Nivernois on the violin, and Lord Pembroke 
on the bass, accompanied Miss Pelham, Lady Rocking- 
ham, and the Duchess of Grafton, who sang. This 
little concert lasted till past ten ; then there were 
minuets, and as we had seven couple left, it concluded 
with a country dance. I blush again, for I danced, 
but was kept in countenance by Nivernois, who has 


one wrinkle more than I have. A quarter after twelve 
they sat down to supper, and I came home by a 
charming moonli^^ht. I am going to dine in town, 
and to a great ball with fireworks at Miss Chudleigh's, 
but I return hither on Sunday, to bid adieu to this 
abominable Arcadian life ; for really when one is not 
young, one ought to do nothing but seimuyej' ; I will 
try, but I always go about it awkwardly. Adieu ! 

P.S. — I enclose a copy of both the English and 
French verses. 

A jNIadame de Boufflers. 

Boufflers, qu'embellissent les graces, 

Et qui plairoit sans le vouloir, 

Elle h. qui I'amour du sgavoir 

Fit braver le Nord et les glaces ; 

Boufflers se plait en nos vergers, 

Et veut k nos sons etrangers 

Plier sa voix enchanteresse. 

Repdtons son nom mille fois, 

Sur tous les coeurs Boufflers aura des droits, 

Par tout ou la rime et la Presse 

A I'amour preteront leur voix. 

A Madame D'Usson. 

Ne feignez point, Iris, de ne pas nous entendre ; 
Ce que vous inspirez, en Grec doit se comprendre. 

On vous I'a dit d'abord en Hollandois, 

Et dans un langage plus tendre 

Paris vous I'a repetd mille fois. 

C'est de nos coeurs I'expression sinecure ; 
En tout climat, Iris, ii toute heure, en tous lieux. 

Par tout ou brilleront vos yeux, 
Vous apprendrez combien ils sgavent plaire. 



To THE Hon. H. S. Conway. 

Arlington Street, May 21, 1763. 

You have now seen the celebrated Madame de 
Boufflers. I dare say you could in that short time 
perceive that she is agreeable, but I dare say too that 
you will agree with me that vivacity ^ is by no means 
the partage of the French — bating the dtotirderie of 
the mottsquetaires and of a high-dried petit-maitre or 
two, they appear to me more lifeless than Germans. 
I cannot comprehend how they came by the character 
of a lively people. Charles Townshend has more sal 
volatile in him than the whole nation. Their King is 
taciturnity itself, Mirepoix was a walking mummy, 
Nivernois has about as much life as a sick favourite 
child, and M. Dusson is a good-humoured country 
gentleman, who has been drunk the day before, and is 
upon his good behaviour. If I have the gout next 
year, and am thoroughly humbled by it again, I will 
go to Paris, that I may be upon a level with them : at 
present, I am trop fou to keep them company. Mind,. 
I do not insist that, to have spirits, a nation should be 
as frantic as poor Fanny Pelham, as absurd as the 
Duchess of Qucensbcrry, or as dashing as the Virgin 

' In a subsequent letter he represents Mme. de Boufflers as giving 
them the same character, saying, " Dans ce pays-ci c'est iin effort per- 
pelucl pour sedivcrlir." 


Chudleigh.i Oh, that you had been at her ball t'other 
night! History could never describe it and keep its 
countenance. The Queen's real birthday, you know, 
is not kept : this Maid of Honour kept it — nay, while 
the Court is in mourning, expected people to be out of 
mourning ; the Queen's family really was so. Lady 
Northumberland havinor desired leave for them. A 
scaffold was erected in Hyde-park for fireworks. To 
show the illuminations without to more advantage, the 
company were received in an apartment totally dark, 
where they remained for two hours. — If they gave rise 
to any more birthdays, who could help it ? The fire- 
works were fine, and succeeded well. On each side of 
the court were two large scaffolds for the Virgin's 
tradespeople. When the fireworks ceased, a large 
scene was lighted in the court, representing their 
Majesties ; on each side of which were six obelisks, 
painted with emblems, and illuminated; mottoes beneath 
in Latin and English : i. For the Prince of Wales, a 
ship, Multortmi spes. 2. For the Princess Dowager, 
a bird of paradise, and two little ones, Meos ad sidera 
tollo. People smiled. 3. Duke of York, a temple, 
Virtuti et honoin. 4. Princess Augusta, a bird of 
paradise, Non Jiabct parcin — unluckily this was trans- 
lated, I have no peer. People laughed out, considering 

' Miss Chudleigh, who had been one of the Princess Dowager's maids 
•of honour, married Mr. Hervcy, afterwards Earl of Bristol, but, liaving 
taken a dislike to him, she procured a divorce, and afterwards married 
the Duke of Kingston ; but, after his death, his heirs, on the ground of 
•some informality in the divorce, prosecuted her for bigamy, and she was 


where this was exhibited. 5. The three younger 
princes, an orange tree, Pi^omittit et dat. 6. The two 
younger princesses, the flower crown-imperial. I 
forget the Latin : the translation was silly enough, 
Bashful in youth, graceful in age. The lady of the 
house made man}^ apologies for the poorness of the 
performance, which she said was only oil-paper, painted 
by one of her servants ; but it really was fine and 
pretty. The Duke of Kingston was in a frock, comme 
chez lui. Behind the house was a cenotaph for the 
Princess Elizabeth, a kind of illuminated cradle ; the 
motto. All the honottrs the dead can receive. This 
burying-ground was a strange codicil to a festival ; 
and, what was more strange, about one in the morning, 
this sarcophagus burst out into crackers and guns. 
The Margrave of Anspach began the ball with the 
Virgin. The supper was most sumptuous. 

You ask, when do I propose to be at Park-place. I 
ask, shall not you come to the Duke of Richmond's 
masquerade, which is the 6th of June ? I cannot well 
be with you till towards the end of that month. 

The enclosed is a letter which I wish you to read 
attentively, to give me your opinion upon it, and return 
it. It is from a sensible friend of mine in Scotland 
[Sir David Dalrymple], who has lately corresponded 
with me on the enclosed subjects, which I little under- 
stand ; but I promised to communicate his ideas to 
George Grenville, if he would state them — are they 
practicable ? I wish much that something could be 
done for those brave soldiers and sailors, who will all 
come to the gallows, unless some timely provision can 


be made for them. — The former part of his letter 
relates to a grievance he complains of, that men who 
have not served are admitted into garrisons, and then 
into our hospitals, which were designed for meritorious 
sufferers. Adieu ! 


To THE Earl of Hertford. 

Arlington Street, Dec. 29, 1763 

You are sensible, my dear lord, that any amusement 
from my letters must depend upon times and seasons. 
We are a very absurd nation (though the French are so 
good at present as to think us a very wise one, only 
because they, themselves, are now a very weak one) ; 
but then that absurdity depends upon the almanac. 
Posterity, who will know nothing of our intervals, will 
conclude that this ag^e was a succession of events. I 
could tell them that we know as well when an event, 
I as when Easter, will happen. Do but recollect these 
last ten years. The beginning of October, one is 
certain that everybody will be at Newmarket, and the 
Duke of Cumberland will lose, and Shafto win, two 
or three thousand pounds. After that, while people 
are preparing to come to town for the winter, the 
Ministry is suddenly changed, and all the world comes 
to learn how it happened, a fortnight sooner than they 
intended ; and fully persuaded that the new arrange- 


ment cannot last a month. The Parliament opens ; 
everybody is bribed ; and the new establishment is 
perceived to be composed of adamant. November 
passes, with two or three self-murders, and a new play. 
Christmas arrives ; everybody goes out of town ; and 
a riot happens in one of the theatres. The Parliament 
meets again ; taxes are warmly opposed ; and some 
citizen makes his fortune by a subscription. The 
opposition languishes ; balls and assemblies begin ; 
some master and miss begin to get together, are talked 
of, and give occasion to forty more matches being 
invented ; an unexpected debate starts up at the end 
of the session, that makes more noise than anything 
that was designed to make a noise, and subsides again 
in a new peerage or two. Ranelagh opens and 
Vauxhall ; one produces scandal, and t'other a drunken 
quarrel. People separate, some to Tunbridge, and 
some to all the horse-races in England ; and so the 
year comes again to October. I dare to prophesy, 
that if you keep this letter, you will fmd that my 
future correspondence will be but an illustration of 
this text ; at least, it is an excuse for my having very 
little to tell you at present, and was the reason of my 
not writing to you last week. 

Before the Parliament adjourned, there was nothing 
but a trifling debate in an empty House, occasioned 
by a motion from the Ministry, to order another 
physician and surgeon to attend Wilkes : ^ it was carried 

' Wilkes had been wouikIccI in a duel, and alleged his wound as a 
sufficient reason for not allendinij in his place in the House of Commons 

From a picture in the Xational Portrait (•at/try, by Natlutnicl Ifonc, R.A, 


by about seventy to thirty, and was only memorable 
by producing Mr. Charles Townshend, who, having sat 
silent through the question of privilege, found himself 
interested in the defence of Dr. Brocklesby ! ^ Charles 
ridiculed Lord North extremely, and had warm words 
with George Grenville. I do not look upon this as 
productive of consequential speaking for the oppo- 
sition ; on the contrary, I should expect him sooner in 
place, if the Ministry could be fools enough to restore 
weight to him, and could be ignorant that he can never 
hurt them so much as by being with them. Wilkes 
refused to see Heberden and Hawkins, whom the 
House commissioned to visit him ; and to laugh at us 
more, sent for two Scotchmen, Duncan and Middleton. 
Well ! but since that, he is gone off himself : however, 
as I did in D' Eon's case, I can now only ask news of 
him from you, not tell you any ; for you have got him. 
I do not believe you will invite him, and make so 
much of him, as the Duke of Bedford did. Both 
sides pretend joy at his being gone ; and for once I 
can believe both. You will be diverted, as I was, at 
the cordial esteem the ministers have for one another ; 
Lord Waldegrave told my niece [Lady Waldegrave], 
this morning, that he had offered a shilling, to receive a 
hundred pounds when Sandwich shall lose his head ! 

when summoned. Dr. Brocklesby, a physician of considerable eminence, 
reported that he was unable to attend ; but the House of Commons, as if 
they distrusted his report, appointed two other physicians to examine the 
patient, Drs. Heberden and Hawkins. 

• Dr. Brocklesby is mentioned by Boswell as an especial friend of 
Johnson; having even offered him an annuity of /^loo to relieve him 
from the necessity of writing to increase his income. 

VOL. I. 18 


what a good opinion they have of one another ! apropos 
to losing heads, is Lally ^ beheaded ? 

The East India Company have come to an unani- 
mous resolution of not paying Lord Clive the three 
hundred thousand pounds, which the Ministry had 
promised him in lieu of his Nabobical annuity. Just 
after the bargain was made, his old rustic of a father 
was at the King's levee ; the King asked where his 
son was ; he replied, " Sire, he is coming to town, and 
then your Majesty will have another vote." If you 
like these franknesses, I can tell you another. The 
Chancellor [Northington] is a chosen governor of St. 
Bartholomew's Hospital : a smart gentleman, who was 
sent with the staff, carried it in the evening, when 
the Chancellor happened to be drunk. " Well, Mr. 
Bartlemy," said his lordship, snuffing, " what have you 
to say ? " The man, who had prepared a formal 
harangue, was transported to have so fair opportunity 
given him of uttering it, and with much dapper ges- 
ticulation congratulated his lordship on his health, and 
the nation on enjoying such great abilities. The 
Chancellor stopped him short, crying, " By God, it is 

■ Count Lally, of an Irish family, his father or grandfather having 
been among those who, after the capitulation of Limerick, accompanied 
the gallant Sarsfield to France, had been the French governor in India ; 
but, having failed in an attempt on Madras, and having been afterwards 
defeated at Wandewash by Colonel Coote, was recalled in disgrace, and 
brought to trial on a number of ridiculously false charges, convicted, and 
executed ; his real offence being that by a somewhat intemperate zeal for 
the reformation of abuses, and the punishment of corruption which he 
detested, he had made a great number of personal enemies. He was the 
father of Count Lally Tollendal, who was a prominent character in the 
French Revolution. 


a lie ! I have neither health nor abilities ; my bad 
health has destroyed my abilities." ^ The late 
Chancellor [Hardwicke] is much better. 

The last time the King was at Drury-lane, the play 
given out for the next night was " All in the Wrong : " 
the galleries clapped, and then cried out, " Let tis be 
all in the right ! Wilkes and Liberty ! " When the 
King comes to a theatre, or goes out, or goes to the 
House, there is not a single applause ; to the Queen 
there is a little : in short, Loids le bien aim^^ is not 
French at present for King George. 

I read, last night, your new French play, " Le 
Comte de Warwic," 3 which we hear has succeeded 
much. I must say, it does but confirm the cheap idea 
I have of you French : not to mention the pre- 

' Lord Northington had been a very hard Uver. He was a martyr 
to the gout ; and one afternoon, as he was going downstairs out of his 

Court, he was heard to say to himself, " D these legs ! If I had 

known they were to carry a Lord Chancellor, I Avould have taken better 
care of them ; " and it was to relieve himself of the labours of the Court 
of Chancery that he co-operated with Mr. Pitt in the discreditable in- 
trigue which in the summer of 1766 compelled the resignation of Lord 
Rockingham, ]\[r. Pitt having promised him the office of President of the 
Council in the new Ministry which he intended to form. 

- " Le Bien aime " was a designation conferred on Louis XV. by the 
people in their joy at his recovery from an illness which had threatened 
his life at Metz in 1744. Louis himself was surprised, and asked what 
he had done to deserve such a title ; and, in truth, it was a question hard 
to answer ; but it was an expression of praise for his leaving the capital 
to accompany his army in the campaign. 

^ " Le Comte de Warwic " was by La Harpe, who was only twenty, 
three years of age. The answer here attributed to Elizabeth Woodville 
has been attributed to others also ; and especially to Mdlle. de Mont- 
morency, afterwards Princesse de Condc, when pursued by the solicita- 
tions of ilenry IV. 


posterous preversion of history in so known a story, 
the Queen's ridiculous preference of old Warwick to a 
young King ; the omission of the only thing she ever 
said or did in her whole life worth recording, which 
was thinking herself too low for his wife, and too 
high for his mistress ; the romantic honour bestowed 
on two such savages as Edward and Warwick: 
besides these, and forty such glaring absurdities, there 
is but one scene that has any merit, that between 
Edward and Warwick in the third act. Indeed, 
indeed, I don't honour the modern French : it is 
making your son but a slender compliment, with his 
knowledge, for them to say it is extraordinary. The 
best proof I think they give of their taste, is liking you 
all three. I rejoice that your little boy is recovered. 
Your brother has been at Park-place this week, and 
stays a week longer : his hill is too high to be 

Thank you for your kindness to Mr. Selwyn : if he 
had too much impatience, I am sure it proceeded only 
from his great esteem for you. 

I will endeavour to learn what you desire ; and will 
answer, in another letter, that and some other passages 
in your last. Dr. Hunter is very good, and calls on 
me sometimes. You may guess whether we talk you 
over or not. Adieu ! 



To George Montagu, Esq. 

Arlington Street, yaji. 11, 1764. 

It is an age, I own, since I wrote to you: but except 
politics, what was there to send you ? and for poHtics, 
the present are too contemptible to be recorded by 
anybody but journalists, gazetteers, and such historians! 
The ordinary of Newgate, or Mr. * * * *^ who write 
for their monthly half-crown, and who are indifferent 
whether Lord Bute, Lord ]^.Ielcombe, or Maclean 
[the highwayman], is their hero, may swear they find 
diamonds on dunghills ; but you will excuse nie, if I 
let our correspondence lie dormant rather than deal 
in such trash. I am forced to send Lord Hertford 
and Sir Horace Mann such garbage, because the}^ are 
out of England, and the sea softens and makes 
palatable any potion, as it does claret ; but unless I 
can divert yo7i, I had rather wait till we can laugh 
together ; the best employment for friends, who do not 
mean to pick one another's pocket, nor make a 
property of either's frankness. Instead of politics, 
therefore, I shall amuse you to-day with a fairy tale. 

I was desired to be at my Lady Suffolk's on New- 
year's morn, where I found Lady Temple and others. 
On the toilet Miss Hotham spied a small round box. 
She seized it with all the eagerness and curiosity of 
eleven years. In it was wrapped up a heart-diamond 
ring, and a paper in which, in a hand as small as 


Buckinger's ^ who used to write the Lord's Prayer in 
the compass of a silver penny, were the following 
lines : — 

Sent by a sylph, unheard, unseen, 

A new-year's gift from Mab our queen : 

But tell it not, for if you do, 

You will be pinch'd all black and blue. 

Consider well, what a disgrace, 

To show abroad your mottled face : 

Then seal your lips, put on the ring, 

And sometimes think of Ob. the king. 

You will eagerly guess that Lady Temple was the 
poetess, and that we were delighted with the gentle- 
ness of the thought and execution. The child, you 
may imagine, was less transported with the poetry 
than the present. Her attention, however, was hurried 
backwards and forwards from the ring to a new coat, 
that she had been trying on when sent for down ; 
impatient to revisit her coat, and to show the ring to 
her maid, she whisked upstairs ; when she came down 
again, she found a letter sealed, and lying on the floor — 
new exclamations ! Lady Suffolk bade her open it : 
here it is : — 

Your tongue, too nimble for your sense. 
Is guilty of a high offence ; 
Hath introduced unkind debate. 
And topsy-turvy turn'd our state. 
In gallantry I sent the ring. 
The token of a love-sick king : 
Under fair Mab's auspicious name 
From me the trifling present came. 
You blabb'd the news in Suflblk's ear ; 
The tattling zephyrs brought it here ; 

' Buckinger was a dwarf born without hands or feet. 


As Mab was indolently laid 

Under a poppy's spreading shade. 

The jealous queen started in rage ; 

She kick'd her crown, and beat her page : 

" Bring me my magic wand," she cries ; 

" Under that primrose, there it lies ; 

I'll change the silly, saucy chit, 

Into a flea, a louse, a nit, 

A worm, a grasshopper, a rat, 

An owl, a monkey, hedgehog, bat. 

But hold, why not by fairy art 

Transform the wretch into — 

Ixion once a cloud embraced, 

By Jove and jealousy well placed ; 

What sport to see proud Oberon stare, 

And flirt it with en Pair ! " 

Then thrice she stamp'd the trembling ground, 

And thrice she waved her wand around ; 

When I, endow'd with greater skill, 

And less inclined to do you ill, 

Mutter'd some words, withheld her arm. 

And kindly stopp'd the unfinish'd charm. 

But though not changed to owl or bat, 

Or something more indelicate ; 

Yet, as your tongue has run too fast, 

Your boasted beauty must not last. 

No more shall frolic Cupid lie 

In ambuscade in either eye. 

From thence to aim his keenest dart 

To captivate each youthful heart : 

No more shall envious misses pine 

At charms now flown, that once were thine 

No more, since you so ill behave, 

Shall injured Oberon be your slave. 

There is one word which I could wish had not been 
there though it is prettily excused afterwards. The 
next day my Lady Suffolk desired I would write her a 
patent for appointing Lady Temple poet laureate to 
the fairies. I was excessively out of order with a pain 
in my stomach, which I had had for ten days, and was 


fitter to write verses like a Poet Laureate, than for 
making one ; however, I was going home to dinner 
alone, and at six I sent her some lines, which you 
ought to have seen how sick I was, to excuse ; but first 
I must tell you my tale methodically. The next morn- 
ing by nine o'clock Miss Hotham (she must forgive me 
twenty years hence for saying she was eleven, for I 
recollect she is but ten), arrived at Lady Temple's, her 
face and neck all spotted with saffron, and limping. 
" Oh, Madam ! " said she, " I am undone for ever if you 
do not assist me ! " " Lord, child," cried my Lady 
Temple, " what is the matter ? " thinking she had hurt 
herself, or lost the ring, and that she was stolen out 
before her aunt was up. " Oh, Madam," said the girl, 
" nobody but you can assist me ! " My Lady Temple 
protests the child acted her part so well as to deceive 
her. " What can I do for you ? " " Dear Madam, 
take this load from my back ; nobody but you can." 
Lady Temple turned her round, and upon her back 
was tied a child's waggon. In it were three tiny purses 
of blue velvet ; in one of them a silver cup, in another 
a crown of laurel, and in the third four new silver 
pennies, with the patent, signed at top, " Oberon 
Imperator ; " and two sheets of warrants strung to- 
gether with blue silk according to form ; and at top an 
office seal of wax and a chaplet of cut paper on it. 
The Warrants were these : — 

From the Royal Mews : 
A waggon with the draught horses, delivered by 
command without fee. 


From the Lord Chamberlain's Office : 
A warrant with the royal sign manual, delivered by 
command without fee, being first entered in the office 

From the Lord Steward's Office : 
A butt of sack, delivered without fee or gratuity, 
with an order for returning the cask for the use of the 
office, by command. 

From the Great Wardrobe : 
Three velvet bags, delivered without fee, by com- 

From the Treasurer of the Household's Office : 
A year's salary paid free from land-tax, poundage, 
or any other deduction whatever by command. 

From the Jewel Office : 
A silver butt, a silver cup, a wreath of bays, by 
command without fee. 

Then came the Patent : 

By these presents be it known, 
To all who bend before our throne, 
Fays and fairies, elves and sprites, 
Beauteous dames and gallant knights, 
That we, Oberon the grand, 
Emperor of fairy land, 
King of moonshine, prince of dreams, 
Lord of Aganippe's streams, 
Baron of the dimpled isles 
That lie in pretty maiden's smiles. 
Arch-treasurer of all the graces 
Dispersed through fifty lovely faces, 
Sovereign of the slipper's order, 
With all the rites thereon that border, 


Defender of the sylphic faith, 

Declare — and thus your monarch saith : 

Whereas there is a noble dame, 

Whom mortals Countess Temple name. 

To whom ourself did erst impart 

The choicest secrets of our art, 

Taught her to tune the harmonious line 

To our own melody div-ine. 

Taught her the graceful negligence, 

Which, scorning art and veiling sense, 

Achieves that conquest o'er the heart 

Sense seldom gains, and never art : 

This lady, 'tis our royal will 

Our laureate's vacant seat should fill ; 

A chaplet of immortal bays 

Shall crown her brow and guard her lays, 

Of nectar sack an acorn cup 

Be at her board each year filled up ; 

And as each quarter feast comes round 

A silver penny shall be found 

Within the compass of her shoe — 

And so we bid you all adieu ! 

Given at our palace of Cowslip Castle, the shortest 
night of the year. Oberon. 

And underneath, 


How shall I tell you the greatest curiosity of the 
story ? The whole plan and execution of the second 
act was laid and adjusted by my Lady Suffolk her- 
self and Will. Chetwynd, Master of the Mint, Lord 
Bolingbroke's Oroonoko-Chetwynd ; ^ he fourscore, 
she past seventy-six ; and, what is more, much worse 

• Oroonoko-Chetwynd, M.P. for Plymouth. He was called Oroonoko 
and sometimes " IMack Will," from his dark complexion. ^ 



than I was, for added to her deafness, she has been 
confined these three weeks with the gout in her eyes, 
and was actually then in misery, and had been without 
sleep. What spirits, and cleverness, and imagination, 
at that age, and under those afflicting circumstances ! 
You reconnoitre her old court knowledge, how charm- 
ingly she has applied it ! Do you wonder I pass so 
many hours and evenings with her ? Alas ! I had like 
to have lost her this morning ! They had poulticed 
her feet to draw the gout downwards, and began to 
succeed yesterday, but to-day it flew up into her head, 
and she was almost in convulsions with the agony, and 
screamed dreadfully ; proof enough how ill she was, for 
her patience and good breeding makes her for ever 
sink and conceal what she feels. This evening the 
gout has been driven back to her foot, and I trust she 
is out of danger. Her loss will be irreparable to me 
at Twickenham, where she is by far the most rational 
and agreeable company I have. 

I don't tell you that the Hereditary Prince [of 
Brunswick] ^ is still expected and not arrived. A royal 
wedding would be a flat episode after a real fairy tale, 
though the bridegroom is a hero. I have not seen 
your brother General yet, but have called on him, 
When come you yourself '^ Never mind the town and 
its filthy politics ; we can go to the Gallery at Straw- 
berry — stay, I don't know whether we can or not, my 

' The Duke of Brunswick, who was mortally wounded in 1S06 at the 
battle of Jena. He had come, as is mentioned in the next letter, to 
marry the King's sister. 



hill Is almost drowned, I don't know how your moun- 
tain is — well, we can take a boat, and always be gay 
there ; I wish we may be so at seventy-six and eighty ! 
I abominate politics more and more ; we had glories, 
and would not keep them : well ! content, that there 
was an end of blood ; then perks prerogative its ass's 
ears up ; we are always to be saving- our liberties, and 
then stakinof them ao^ain ! 'Tis wearisome ! I hate the 
discussion, and yet one cannot always sit at a gaming- 
table and never make a bet. I wish for nothing, I 
care not a straw for the inns or the outs ; I determine 
never to think of them, yet the contagion catches one ; 
can you tell anything that will prevent infection ? Well 
then, here I swear, — no, I won't swear, one always 
breaks one's oath. Oh, that I had been born to love 
a court like Sir William Breton ! I should have lived 
and died with the comfort of thinking that courts there 
will be to all eternity, and the liberty of my country 
would never once have ruffled my smile, or spoiled my 
bow. I envy Sir William. Good night! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Arlington Street, Jan. i8, 1764. 

Shall I tell you of all our crowds, and balls, and 
embroideries ? Don't I grow too old to describe 
drawing-rooms ? Surely I do, when I find myself too 
old to go into them. I forswore puppet-shows at the 


last coronation, and have kept my word to myself. 
However, being bound by a prior vow, to keep up the 
acquaintance between you and your own country, I 
will show you, what by the way I have not seen myself, 
the Prince of Brunswick. He arrived at Somerset 
House last Friday evening ; at Chelmsford a quaker 
walked into the room, did pull off his hat, and said, 
" Friend, my religion forbids me to fight, but I honour 
those that fight well." The Prince, though he does 
not speak English, understands it enough to be pleased 
with the compliment. He received another, very 
flattering. As he went next m.orning to St. James's, 
he spied in the crowd one of Elliot's light-horse and 
kissed his hand to the man. " What ! " said the 
populace, "does he know you?" " Yes," replied the 
man ; " he once led me into a scrape, which nothing 
but himself could have brought me out of again." 
You may guess how much this added to the Prince's 
popularity, which was at high-water mark before. 

When he had visited the Kino^ and Oueen, he went 
to the Princess Dowager at Leicester House, and saw 
his mistress. He is very galant, and professes great 
satisfaction in his fortune, for he had not even seen her 
picture. He carries his good-breeding so far as to 
declare he would have returned unmarried, if she had 
not pleased him. He has had levees and dinners at 
Somerset House ; to the latter, company was named 
for him. On Monday evening they were married by 
the Archbishop in the great drawing-room, with litde 
ceremony ; supped, and lay at Leicester House. 
Yesterday morning was a drawing-room at St. James's, 


and a ball at night ; both repeated to-day, for the 
Queen's birthday. On Thursday they go to the play ; 
on Friday the Queen gives them a ball and dinner at 
her house ; on Saturday they dine with the Princess at 
Kew, and return for the Opera ; and on Wednesday — 
why, they make their bow and curtsy, and sail. 

The Prince has pleased everybody ; his manner is 
thought sensible and engaging ; his person slim, genteel, 
and handsome enough ; that is, not at all handsome, 
but martial, agreeably weather-worn. I should be able 
to swear to all this on Saturday, when I intend to see 
him ; but, alas ! the post departs on Friday, and, how- 
ever material my testimony may be, he must want it. 


To THE Earl of Hertford. 

Arlington Street, Fed. 6, 1764. 

You have, I hope, long before this, my dear lord, 
received the immense letter that I sent you by old 
Monin. It explained much, and announced most part 
of which has already happened ; for you will observe 
that when I tell you anything very positively, it is on 
good intelligence. I have another much bigger secret 
for you, but that will be delivered to you by word of 
mouth. I am not a little impatient for the long letter 
you promised me. In the mean time thank you for 
the account you give me of the King's extreme civility 
to you. It is like yourself to dwell on that, and to say 
little of M. de Chaulnes's dirtv behaviour ; but Mon- 


sieur and ^ladame de Guerchy have told your brother 
and me all the particulars. 

I was but too good a prophet when I warned you to 
expect new extravagances from the Due de Chaulnes's 
son. Some weeks ago he lost five hundred pounds to 
one Virette, an equivocal being, that you remember 
here. Paolucci, the Modenese minister, who is not in 
the odour of honesty, was of the party. The Due de 
Pecquigny said to the latter, " Monsieur, ne jouez plus 
avec lui, si vous n'etes pas de moitie." So far was 
very well. On Saturday, at the Maccaroni Club 
(which is composed of all the travelled young men 
who wear long curls and spying glasses), they played 
again : the Due lost, but not much. In the passage at 
the Opera, the Due saw Mr. Stuart talking to Virette, 
and told the former that Virette was a coquin, a fripon, 
&e., «S:e. Virette retired, saying only, " Voila un fou." 
The Due then desired Lord Tavistock to come and 
see him tight Virette, but the Marquis desired to be 
excused. After the Opera, Virette went to the Due's 
lodgings, but found him gone to make his complaint 
to Monsieur de Guerchy, whither he followed him ; 
and farther this deponent knoweth not. I pity the 
Count [de Guerchy], who is one of the best-natured 
amiable men in the world, for having this absurd boy 
upon his hands ! 

Well ! now for a little polities. The Cider Bill has 
not answered to the minority, though they ran the 
ministry hard ; but last Friday was extraordinary. 
George Grenville was pushed upon some Navy Bills. 
1 don't understand a syllable, you kno'tV, of money and 


accounts ; but whatever was the matter, he was driven 
from entrenchment to entrenchment by Baker and 
Charles Townshend. After that affair was over, and 
many gone away, Sir W. Meredith moved for the 
depositions on which the warrant against Wilkes had 
been granted. The Ministers complained of the 
motion being made so late in the day ; called it a 
surprise ; and Rigby moved to adjourn, which was 
carried but by y^ to 60. Had a surprise been in- 
tended, you may imagine the minority would have 
been better provided with numbers ; but it certainly 
had not been concerted : however, a majority, shrunk 
to thirteen, frightened them out of the small senses 
they possess. Heaven, Earth, and the Treasury, 
were moved to recover their ground to-day, when the 
question was renewed. For about two hours the 
debate hobbled on very lamely, when on a sudden 
your brother rose, and made such a speech^ — but I 
wish anybody was to give you the account except me, 
whom you will think partial : but you will hear enough 
of it, to confirm anything I can say. Imagine fire, 

' Walpole must have exaggerated the merits of this speech ; for 
Conway was never remarkable for eloquence. Indeed, Walpole himself, 
in his '"'Memoirs of George II.," quotes Mr. Hutchinson, the Prime 
vSerjeant in Ireland, contrasting him with Lord G. Sackville, " Lord 
George having parts, but no integrity ; Conway integrity, but no parts : 
and now they were governed by one who had neither." And Walpole's 
comment on this comparison is : "There was more wit than truth in this 
description. Conway's parts, though not brilliant, were solid " (vol. ii. 
p. 246). In his " Life of Pitt " Lord Stanhope describes him as " a man 
who, in the course of a long public life, had shown little vigour or deri- 
sion, but who was much respected for his honourable ch.Tracter and 
moderate counsels " (c. 5). 


rapidity, argument, knowledge, wit, ridicule, grace, 
spirit ; all pouring like a torrent, but without clashing. 
Imagine the House in a tumult of continued applause, 
imagine the Ministers thunderstruck ; lawyers abashed 
and almost blushing, for it was on their quibbles and 
evasions he fell most heavily, at the same time answer- 
ing a whole session of arguments on the side of the 
court. No, it was tmique ; you can neither conceive 
it, nor the exclamations it occasioned. Ellis, the 
Forlorn Hope, Ellis presented himself in the gap, 
till the ministers could recover themselves, when on a 
sudden Lord George Sackville led tip the Bbies; spoke 
with as much warmth as your brother had, and with 
ofreat force continued the attack which he had bes:un. 
Did not I tell you he would take this part ? I was 
made privy to it ; but this is far from all you are to 
expect. Lord North in vain rumbled about his 
mustard-bowl, and endeavoured alone to outroar a 
whole party : him and Forrester, Charles Townshend 
took up, but less well than usual. His jealousy of 
your brother's success, which was very evident, did not 
help him to shine. There were several other speeches, 
and, upon the whole, it was a capital debate ; but 
Plutus is so much more persuasive an orator than your 
brother or Lord George, that we divided but 122 
against 217. Lord Strange, who had agreed to the 
question, did not dare to vote for it, and declared off; 
and George Townshend, who had actually voted for 
it on Friday, now voted against us. Well ! ui)on the 
whole, I heartily wish this administration may last : 
both their characters and abilities are so contemptible, 
VOL. I. 19 


that I am sure we can be in no danger from preroga- 
tive when trusted to such hands ! 

Before I have done with Charles Townshend, I 
must tell you one of his admirable bon mots. Miss 
Draycote, the great fortune, is grown very fat ; he 
says her tonnage is become equal to \\^r poundage. 


To THE Earl of Hertford. 

Arlington Street, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1764. 

My dear Lord, — You ous^ht to be witness to the 
fatigue I am suffering, before you can estimate the 
merit I have in being writing to you at this moment. 
Cast up eleven hours in the House of Commons on 
Monday, and above seventeen hours yesterday, — ay, 
seventeen at length, — and then you may guess if I am 
tired ! nay, you must add seventeen hours that I may 
possibly be there on Friday, and then calculate if I am 
weary. In short, yesterday was the longest day ever 
known in the House of Commons — why, on the West- 
minster election at the end of my father's reign, I was 
at home by six. On Alexander Murray's affair, I 
believe, by five — on the militia, twenty people, I think, 
sat till six, but then they were only among themselves, 
no heat, no noise, no roaring. It was half an hour 
after seven this morning before I was at home. Think 
of that, and then brag of your French parliaments ! 


What is ten times greater, Leonidas and the Spartan 
minority did not make such a stand at Thermopylae, 
as we did. Do you know, we had like to have been 
the majority ? Xerxes ^ is frightened out of his 
senses ; Sysigambis ^ has sent an express to Luton to 
forbid Phraates" coming to town to-morrow ; Norton's ^ 
impudence has forsaken him ; Bishop Warburton is at 
this moment reinstatinof Mr. Pitt's name in the dedica- 
tion to his Sermons, which he had expunged for Sand- 
wich's ; and Sandwich himself is — at Paris, perhaps, by 
this time, for the first thing that I expect to hear 
to-morrow is, that he is gone off. 

Now are you mortally angry with me for trifling 
with you, and not telling you at once the particulars 
of this almost-revobUion f You may be angry, but I 
shall take my own time, and shall give myself what 
airs I please both to you, my Lord Ambassador, and 
to you, my Lord Secretary of State, who will, I sup- 
pose, open this letter — if you have courage enough 
left. In the first place, I assume all the impertinence 
of a prophet, — aye, of that great curiosity, a prophet, 
who really prophesied before the event, and whose 
predictions have been accomplished. Have I, or have 
I not, announced to you the unexpected blows that 
would be mven to the administration '^. — come, I will 

' " Xerxes^ Sysigambis, Phraates.''' These names contain allusions to 
one of Mdlle. Scuderi's novel, which, as D'Israeli remarks, are "repre- 
sentations of what passed at the Court of France ; but in this letter the 
scene of action is transferred to England. Xerxes is George III. ; Sysi- 
gambis, the Princess Dowager ; and Phraates is Lord Bute. 

= Sir Fletcher Norton, the Speaker. 


lay aside my dignity, and satisfy your impatience. 
There's moderation. 

We sat all Monday hearing evidence against Mr. 
Wood, I that dirty wretch Webb, and the messengers, 
for their illegal proceedings against M r. Wilkes. At 
midnight, Mr. Grenville offered us to adjourn or 
proceed. Mr. Pitt humbly begged not to eat or sleep 
till so great a point should be decided. On a division, 
in which though many said aye to adjourning, nobody 
would go out for fear of losing their seats, it was carried 
by 379 to 31, for proceeding — and then — half the 
House went away. The ministers representing the 
indecency of this, and Fitzherbert saying that many 
were within call, Stanley observed, that after voting 
against adjournment, a third part had adjourned them- 
selves, when, instead of being within call, they ought 
to have been within hearing ; this was unanswerable, 
and we adjourned. 

Yesterday we fell to again. It was one in the 
morning before the evidence was closed. Carrington, 
the messenger, was alone examined for seven hours. 
This old man, the cleverest of all ministerial terriers, 
was pleased with recounting his achievements, yet 
perfectly guarded and betraying nothing. However, 
the arcana imperii have been wofully laid open. 

I have heard Garrick, and other players, give them- 
selves airs of fatigue after a long part — think of the 

' All. Wood and Mr. Webb were the Undcr-.Sccrctary of State and the 
Solicitor of the Treasury ; and, as such, the officers chiefly responsible 
for the fonn of the warrant conijilaincd of. 


Speaker, nay, think of the clerks taking most correct 
minutes for sixteen hours, and reading them over to 
every witness ; and then let me hear of fatigue ! Do 
you know, not only my Lord Temple,^ — who you may 
swear never budged as spectator, — but old Will Chet- 
wynd, now past eighty, and who had walked to the 
House, did not stir a single moment out of his place, 
from three in the afternoon till the division at seven 
in the morning. Nay, we had patriotesses, too, who 
stayed out the whole : Lady Rockingham and Lady 
Sondes the first day ; both again the second day, with 
Miss Mary Pelham, Mrs. Fitzroy, and the Duchess of 
Richmond, as patriot as any of us. Lady Mary Coke, 
Mrs. George Pitt, and Lady Pembroke, came after the 
Opera, but I think did not stay above seven or eight 
hours at most. 

At one, Sir W. Meredith moved a resolution of the 
illegality of the Warrant, and opened it well. He was 
seconded by old Darlington's brother, a convert to us. 
Mr. Wood, who had shone the preceding day by great 
modesty, decency, and ingenuity, forfeited these merits 
a good deal by starting up, (according to a Ministerial 
plan,) and very arrogantly, and repeatedly in the night, 
demanding justice and a previous acquittal, and telling 
the House he scorned to accept being merely excused; 

' Lord Temple was Mr. Pitt's brother-in-law, a restless and imprac- 
ticable intriguer. He had some such especial power of influencing 
Mr. Pitt — who, it is supposed, must have been under some pecuniary- 
obligation to him — that he was able the next year to prevent his 
accepting the office of Prime Minister when the King pressed it on 


to which Mr. Pitt replied, that if he disdained to be 
excttsed, he would deserve to be censtired. Mr. Charles 
Yorke (who, with his famil}^ have come roundly to us 
for support against the Duke of Bedford on the 
Marriage Bill) proposed to adjourn. Grenville and 
the ministry would have agreed to adjourn the debate 
on the great question itself, but declared they would 
push this acquittal. This they announced haughtily 
enough — for as yet, they did not doubt of their 
strength. Lord Frederick Campbell was the most 
impetuous of all, so little he foresaw how much zuiser 
it would be to follow your brorher. Pitt made a short 
speech, excellently argumentative, and not bombast, 
nor tedious, nor deviating from the question. He was 
supported by your brother, and Charles Townshend, 
and Lord George ; the two last of whom are strangely 
firm, now they are got under the cannon of your 
brother : — Charles, who, as he must be extraordinary, 
is now so in romantic nicety of honour. His father, 
who is dying, or dead, at Bath, and from whom he 
hopes two thousand a year, has sent for him. He has 
refused to go — lest his steadiness should be questioned. 
At a quarter after four we divided. Our cry was so 
loud, that both we and the ministers thought we 
had carried it. It is not to be painted,- the dismay 
of the latter — in good truth not without reason, 
for we were 197, they but 207. Your experience 
can tell you, that a majority of Imt ten is a defeat. 
Amidst a great defection from ihcm, was even 
a white staff. Lord Charles Spencer — now you know 
still more of what I told you was preparing for them ! 


Crest-fallen, the ministers then proposed simply to- 
discharge the complaint ; but the plumes which they 
had dropped, Pitt soon placed in his own beaver. He 
broke out on liberty, and, indeed, on whatever he 
pleased, uninterrupted. Rigby sat feeling the vice- 
treasureship slipping from under him. Nugent was 
not less pensive — Lord Strange, though not interested, 
did not like it. Everybody was too much taken up 
with his own concerns, or too much daunted, to give 
the least disturbance to the Pindaric. Grenville, how- 
ever, dropped a few words, which did but heighten the 
flame. Pitt, with less modesty than ever he showed, 
pronounced a panegyric on his own administration, and 
from thence broke out on the dismission of officers. 
This Increased the roar from us. Grenville replied, 
and very finely, very pathetically, very animated. He 
painted Wilkes and faction, and, with very little truth, 
denied the charge of menaces to officers. At that 
moment, General A'Court walked up the House — 
think what an Impression such an Incident must make, 
when passions, hopes, and fears, were all afloat — think, 
too, how your brother and I, had we been ungenerous, 
could have added to these sensations ! There was a 
man not so delicate. Colonel Barre rose — and this 
attended with a striking circumstance ; Sir Edward 
Deering, one of our noisy fools, called out, " Mr. 
Barre." ^ The latter seized the thought with admirable 

■ Mr. Barre had lately been dismissed from the oftlce of Adjutant- 
General, on account of some of his votes in Parliament. In 17S4 he was 
appointed Clerk of the Rolls, a place worth above ^3,000 a year, by Mr. 


quickness, and said to the Speaker, who, in pointing- 
to him, had called him Colonel, " I beg your pardon. 
Sir, you have pointed to me by a title I have no right 
to," and then made a very artful and pathetic speech on 
his own services and dismission ; with nothing bad but 
an awkward attempt towards an excuse to Mr. Pitt for 
his former behaviour. Lord North, who will not lose 
his bclloiu, though he may lose his place, endeavoured 
to roar up the courage of his comrades, but it would 
not do — the House grew tired, and we again divided 
at seven for adjournment ; some of our people were 
gone, and we remained but 184, they 208 ; however, 
you will allow our affairs are mended, when we say, but 
184. We then came away, and left the ministers to 
satisfy Wood, Webb, and themselves, as well as they 
could. It was eight this morning before I was in bed; 
and considering that, this is no very short letter. Mr. 
Pitt bore the fatigue with his usual spirit — and even 
old Onslow, the late Speaker, was sitting up, anxious 
for the event. 

On Friday we are to have the great question, which 
would prevent my writing ; and to-morrow I dine with 
Guerchy, at the Duke of Grafton's, besides twenty 
other engagements. To-day I have shut myself up ; 
for with writing this, and taking notes yesterday all 
•day, and all night, I have not an eye left to see out of 

Pitt, who, with extraordinary disinterestedness, forbore from taking it 
himself, that he might relieve the nation from a pension of similar 
amount which had been im]n-<)perly conferred on the Colonel by Lord 


— nay, for once in my life, I shall go to bed at ten 
o'clock. . . . 

Adieu ! pray tell Mr. Hume that I am ashamed to 
be thus writing the history of England, when he is 
with you ! 


To Sir Horace Mann. 

Strawberry Hill, Jtme 8, 1764. 

Your Red Riband is certainly postponed. There was 
but one vacant, which was promised to General Draper, 
who, when he thought he felt the sword dubbing 
his shoulder, was told that my Lord Clive could not 
conquer the Indies a second time without being a 
Knight of the Bath. This, however, I think will be 
but a short parenthesis, for I expect that heaven-born 
hero ^ to return from whence he came, instead of 
bringing hither all the Mogul's pearls and rubies. 
Yet, before that happens there will probably be other 
vacancies to content both Draper and you. 

You have a new neighbour coming to you, Mr. 
William Hamilton,- one of the King's equerries, who 
succeeds Sir James Gray at Naples. Hamilton is a 
friend of mine, is son of Lady Archibald, and was 
aide-de-camp to Mr. Conway. He is picture-mad, and 

■ " That heaven-bont hero " had been Lord Chatham's description of 
Lord Clivc. 

- Mr. W. Hamilton, afterwards Sir William, was the husband of the 
celebrated Lady Hamilton. 


will ruin himself in virtu-land. His wife is as musical 
as he is connoisseur, but she is dying of an asthma. 

I have never heard of the present '^ you mention of 
the box of essences. The secrets of that prison-house 
do not easily transpire, and the merit of any offering 
is generally assumed, I believe, by the officiating 

Lord Tavistock is to be married to-morrow to Lady 
Elizabeth Keppel, Lord Albemarle's sister. 

I love to tell you an anecdote of any of our old 
acquaintance, and I have now a delightful one, relating, 
yet indirectly, to one of them. You know, to be 
sure, that Madame de Craon's daughter, Madame de 
Boufflers, has the greatest power with King Stanislaus. 
Our old friend the Princess de Craon goes seldom to 
Luneville for this reason, not enduring to see her 
daughter on that throne which she so long filled with 
absolute empire. But Madame de Boufiiers, who, 
from his Majesty's age, cannot occupy all the places in 
the palace that her mother filled, indemnifies herself 
with his Majesty's Chancellor. One day the lively old 
monarch said, " Regardez, quel joli petit pied, et la 
belle jambe ! Mon Chancellier vous dira le reste." 
You know this is the form when a King of France 
says a few words to his Parliament, and then refers 
them to his chancellor. I expect to hear a great deal 
soon of the princess, for Mr. Churchill and my sister 
are going to settle at Nancy for some time. Adieu ! 

' A present from Sir Horace, I believe, to the Oiiecn. — W.M.i'oiJi. 



To Sir Horace Mann. 

Strawberry Hill, Aug. 13, 1764. 

I AM afraid it is some thousands of days since I wrote 
to you ; but woe is me ! how could I help it ? Summer 
will be summer, and peace peace. It is not the fashion 
to be married, or die in the former, nor to kill or be 
killed in the latter ; and pray recollect if those are not 
the sources of correspondence. You may perhaps put 
in a caveat against my plea of peace, and quote Turks 
Island I upon me ; why, to be sure the parenthesis is a 
little hostile, but we are like a good wife, and can wink 
at what we don't like to see ; besides, the French, like 
a sensible husband, that has made a slip, have promised 
us a new topknot, so we have kissed and are very good 

The Duke of York returned very abruptly. The 
town talks of remittances stopped ; but as I know 
nothing of the matter, and you are not only a minister 
but have the honour of his good graces, I do not 
pretend to tell you what to be sure you know better 
than I do. 

Old Sir John Barnard is dead, which he had been to 
the world for some time ; and Mr. Legge. The latter, 

' Turk's Island, called also Tortuga, is a small island near St. 
Domingo, of which a French squadron had dispossessed some Britisli 
settlers ; but the French Government disavowed the act, and compen- 
sated the settlers. 


who was heartily in the minority, said cheerfully just 
before he died, " that he was going to the majority." 

Let us talk a little of the north. Count Poniatowski, 
with whom I was acquainted when he was here, is 
King of Poland, and calls himself Stanislaus the 
Second. This is the sole instance, I believe, upon 
record, of a second of a name being on the throne 
while the first was living without having contributed 
to dethrone him.^ Old Stanislaus lives to see a line of 
successors, like Macbeth in the cave of the witches. 
So much for Poland ; don't let us go farther north ; we 
shall find there Alecto herself. I have almost wept 
for poor Ivan! I shall soon begin to believe that 
Richard III. murdered as many folks as the Lancastrian 
historians say he did. I expect that this Fury will 
poison her son next, lest Semiramis should have the 
bloody honour of having been more unnatural. As 
Voltaire has unpoisoned so many persons of former 
ages, methinks he ought to do as much for the present 
time, and assure posterity that there never was such a 
lamb as Catherine II., and that, so far from assassinat- 
ing her own husband and Czar Ivan,- she wept over 
every chicken that she had for dinner. How crimes, 
like fashions, flit from clime to clime ! Murder reigns 
under the Pole, while you, who are in the very town 

' The first was Stanislaus Leczinski, father of the Queen of France. 
He had been driven from Poland by Peter the Great after the overthrow 
of Charles XII. of Sweden (?/. i)i/ra, Letter 90). 

' Ivan, the Czar who had been deposed by the former Czarina, Eliza- 
beth, had recently been murdered, while tryinj,^ to escape from the 
confinement in which he had been so long detained. 


where Catherine de' Medici was born, and within a 
stone's throw of Rome, where Borgia and his holy 
father sent cardinals to the other world by hecatombs, 
are surprised to hear that there is such an instrument 
as a stiletto. The papal is now a mere gouty chair, 
and the good old souls don't even waddle out of it to 
get a bastard. 

Well, good night ! I have no more monarchs to chat 
over ; all the rest are the most Catholic or most 
Christian, or most something or other that is divine ; 
and you know one can never talk long about folks that 
are only excellent. One can say no more about 
Stanislaus the fii^st than that he is the best of beings. 
I mean, unless they do not deserve it, and then their 
Batterers can hold forth upon their virtues by the 



To THE Earl of Hertford. 

Strawberry Hill, Oct. 5, 1764. 

My dear Lord, — Thouo:h I wrote to vou but a few 
days ago, I must trouble you with another line now. 
Dr. Blanchard, a Cambridge divine, and who has a 
good paternal estate in Yorkshire, is on his travels, 
which he performs as a gentleman ; and, therefore, 
wishes not to have his profession noticed. He is very 
desirous of paying his respects to you, and of being 
countenanced by you while he stays at Paris. It will 


much oblige a particular friend of mine, and conse- 
quently me, if you will favour him with your attention. 
Everybody experiences your goodness, but in the 
present case I wish to attribute it a little to my 

I asked you about two books, ascribed to Madame 
de Boufflers. If they are hers, I should be glad to 
know where she found, that Oliver Cromwell took 
orders and went over to Holland to fight the Dutch. 
As she has been on the spot where he reigned (which 
is generally very strong evidence), her countrymen will 
believe her in spite of our teeth ; and Voltaire, who 
loves all anecdotes that never happened, because they 
prove the manners of the times, will hurry it into 
the first history he publishes. I, therefore, enter my 
caveat against it ; not as interested for Oliver's 
character, but to save the world from one more fable. 
I know Madame de Boufflers will attribute this scruple 
to my partiality to Cromwell (and, to be sure, if we 
must be ridden, there is some satisfaction when the 
man knows how to ride). I remember one night at 
the Duke of Grafton's, a bust of Cromwell was pro- 
duced : Madame de Boufflers, without uttering a 
syllable, gave me the most speaking look imaginable, 
as much as to say, "Is it possible you can admire this 
man ! " Apropos : I am sorry to say the reports do 
not cease about the separation, and yet I have heard 
nothing that confirms it. 

I once begged you to send me a book in three 
volumes, called " Essais sur les Mccurs ; " forgive me if 
I put you in mind of it, and request you to send me 


that, or any other new book. I am wofully In want of 
reading, and sick to death of all our political stuff, 
which, as the Parliament is happily at the distance of 
three months, I would fain forget till I cannot help 
hearing of it. I am reduced to Guicciardin, and 
though the evenings are so long, I cannot get through 
one of his periods between dinner and supper. They 
tell me Mr. Hume has had sight of King James's 
journal ; ^ I wish I could see all the trifling passages 
that he will not deign to admit into History. I do not 
love great folks till they have pulled off their buskins 
and put on their slippers, because I do not care 
sixpence for what they would be thought, but for what 
they are. 

Mr. Elliot brings us woful accounts of the French 
ladies, of the decency of their conversation, and the 
nastiness of their behaviour. 

Nobody is dead, married, or gone mad, since my 
last. Adieu ! . . . 

' This journal is understood to have been destroyed in the course of 
the French Revolution, but it had not only been previously seen by Hume, 
as Walpole mentions here, but Mr. Fox had also had access to it, and 
had made some notes or extracts from it, which were subsequently 
communicated to Lord Macaulay when he carried out the design of 
writing a "History of the Revolution of 1688," which Mr. Fox had 









Walpole, Horace 

Letters of Horace ".ialpole 



Sig. Sam,